The Taiwan High Court on Wednesday ruled on three separate cases against independent Legislator Fu Kun-chi (傅崐萁), handing out a combined sentence of three years and 10 months.
Fu last month reported to Hualien Prison to start serving a two-year-and-10-month sentence for insider trading and stock manipulation.
Though nominally an independent legislator, Fu, a former Hualien County commissioner, is closely aligned with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), despite leaving the party in 2009.
Photo: Wu Cheng-fong, Taipei Times
His wife, Hualien County Commissioner Hsu Chen-wei (徐榛蔚), is a KMT member and had served as a legislator from 2016 to 2018.
Known as the “King of Hualien” (花蓮王), the 58-year-old Fu has been embroiled in several major legal cases and controversies during his stints as legislator and Hualien County commissioner from 2009 to 2018.
The High Court’s statement said that Fu was found guilty of manipulating the shares of KTP Industries Ltd and other companies in 1999, for which the Supreme Court sentenced him to two years and 10 months in prison, for which he began serving on May 25.
The sentence sparked a huge public outcry for allowing Fu to retain his legislator’s status and privileges, including drawing a lawmaker’s salary while in prison.
Fu was also found guilty of manipulating the stock of Hold-Key Electric Wire & Cable in 2003, for which the Supreme Court last year sentenced him to eight months in prison after his repeated appeals failed, the High Court statement said.
The third case was the fraudulent divorce between Fu and Hsu.
Fu was elected Hualien County commissioner in 2009, when the court was about to rule on one of his stock manipulation cases. By filing for divorce, Fu was able to name Hsu as deputy commissioner to continue to head the county government on his behalf.
Fu was found guilty of breaching the provisions of the “Act on Recusal of Public Servants Due to Conflicts of Interest (公職人員利益衝突迴避法), which prohibits granting a spouse or a direct family member a jobs or contract.
The Hualien District Court found the couple guilty of falsification of public documents in 2011.
Fu and Hsu received prison sentences of six months and four months respectively or fines of NT$540,000 and NT$360,000.
Neither appealed the case.
Legal experts yesterday said that following the latest High Court ruling, Fu would be eligible to apply for early release after serving 10 months.
The judiciary allows people to apply for parole after serving at least half of the sentence — or 23 months in Fu’s case — but since he had previously served 13 months in relation to the three cases, he could be free in 10 months.
ALARM GROWS: US officials are concerned that China’s claim that the Taiwan Strait is an internal waterway is a deliberate effort to muddy the legal status of Taiwan US President Joe Biden’s administration has decided to reject a vague new assertion by China that the Taiwan Strait is not “international waters” and is increasingly concerned the stance could result in more frequent challenges at sea for Taiwan, people familiar with the matter said. Chinese officials have made such remarks repeatedly in meetings with US counterparts over the past few months. In the past, while China regularly protested US military moves in the Taiwan Strait, the legal status of the waters was not a regular talking point in meetings with US officials. The timing of the assertion is causing alarm within the
‘HIDDEN GEM’: The city earned plaudits for its low crime rate, world-class healthcare system, cheap cost of living and easy public transportation Taipei has been named the 10th best city in the world for quality of living in an annual survey by the editors of Monocle, a UK-based global affairs and lifestyle magazine. The survey, which is to be published in the magazine’s July/August issue, selected the world’s top 25 cities based on factors including cost of living, retail, hospitality, culture and access to green spaces, as well as feedback from Monocle correspondents. Taipei’s 10th place finish was one place down from a year earlier. The survey ranked Copenhagen as the world’s best city, with Zurich, Lisbon, Helsinki and Stockholm rounding out the top five.
NO COMORBIDITIES: The girl died of encephalitis, the sixth COVID-19-related death of the disease this year and 19th death of a child from the virus, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 52,213 new domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases and 171 deaths from the virus, including a four-year-old girl, who had been diagnosed with encephalitis, and a 19-year-old man, who had underlying health conditions. “The caseloads are usually higher on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but they [yesterday] fell 7.3 percent from the day before,” Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said. Chuang, who is the CECC’s spokesman, said that most cities and counties reported a drop in new cases, and the CECC expects fewer than 50,000 new cases today. The center said that 150 of
LIMIT: The CECC has capped the number of weekly arrivals to 25,000, which critics said has limited the number of available flights and caused ticket prices to soar The government is not likely to raise the cap on the number of inbound travelers before the end of this month, despite the apparent effect on the number of inbound flights, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday last week eased quarantine rules for inbound travelers, who must undergo three days of home quarantine upon arrival and spend another four days in self-initiated disease prevention. It also capped the number of inbound travelers to 25,000 per week. The weekly limit has drawn criticism that it has limited the number of flights