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.
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