The Taipei District Court yesterday handed down prison sentences ranging from six months to one-and-a-half years to members of former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) family and former Taipei Financial Center Corp (台北金融大樓公司) chairwoman Diana Chen (陳敏薰) for perjury.
The former president’s son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), daughter Chen Hsing-yu (陳幸妤) and son-in-law Chao Chien-ming (趙建銘) each received six-month prison sentences, which were half the length of one year following commutation.
Although they do not qualify for a scheme that lets those convicted to terms of six months or less pay a fine rather than serve jail time, they will be able to take advantage of a new program that allows convicts to do community service rather than go to jail.
Former first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), convicted for instigating perjury, received a one-year jail sentence, which was half the sentence following commutation.
As the former first family committed perjury before April 24, 2007, and because the offenses they committed were eligible for commutation, they met the requirements of the 2007 Sentence Commutation (罪犯減刑條例) and had their sentences reduced by half.
All sentences can be appealed.
Presiding Judge Chen Hsing-pang (陳興邦) said Chen Chih-chung, Chen Hsing-yu and Chao Chien-ming followed the former first lady’s instructions in giving false testimony in 2005 when questioned about the presidential “state affairs fund,” a public fund earmarked for the president’s official use and for which Chen Shui-bian has been accused of embezzling from during his presidency.
They were listed as defendants on June 3 and indicted on July 17.
The former first lady was charged with instigating perjury for allegedly instructing her children to lie during a probe into the embezzlement charges against both herself and her husband.
Diana Chen received the full sentence of one year and six months because she committed perjury after Apr. 24, 2007, and therefore did not qualify for a reduced sentence. Her refusal to admit to the charges against her in exchange for a lighter sentence also resulted in her receiving a longer prison sentence than the others.
Prosecutors said she purposely gave false testimony during questioning last year about the former first family’s alleged money-laundering activities. They also said Diana Chen bribed the former first lady with NT$10 million (US$300,000) to obtain her position as chairwoman of Taipei Financial Center Corp.
Chen Shui-bian stands accused of embezzling public funds, money laundering, accepting bribes on a land deal, influence peddling and forgery.
The District Court will announce its verdict on Sept. 11.
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
Beijing is to ease a ban on foreign airlines starting on Monday next week, changing course one day after the administration of US President Donald Trump demanded that China reopen to US airlines or face curbs on its own carriers flying passengers to the US. Foreign airlines excluded from an earlier pact would be able to operate one commercial passenger flight to China per week, the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration said. It did not name any countries or carriers, but the move opens up a chance for US airlines to return for the first time in four months. While the timing might