The Supreme Court yesterday rejected the appeals of three former Pingtung County councilors, and upheld their charges in connection with the misuse of funds in Aboriginal townships in 2007 and 2008.
The court upheld earlier sentences for former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) councilors Lin Yu-ju (林玉如) and Lien Cheng-sheng (連正勝), who were both sentenced to two years and six months in prison, and Pan Ming-li (潘明利), who received a prison term of three years and six months.
The court said that the former councilors, who were elected in the county’s Aboriginal townships, accepted bribes totaling NT$1.6 million (US$56,178 at the current exchange rate), for contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例).
They embezzled funds appropriated by the county government for construction projects totaling NT$6 million each year, and funds to buy equipment for more than 50 churches in the townships, the court said.
An investigation began in 2010, showing that the trio misappropriated funds earmarked for 61 personal computers and audiovisual systems at the churches, the court said, adding that Pan gained a personal profit of NT$536,000, Lin gained NT$243,000 and Lien gained NT$260,000.
With three other former county councilors, they booked fraudulent expenses for computers significantly above the purchase prices, with each of the three gaining about 23 percent per transaction, with about 5 percent handed on to intermediaries, the court said.
All six involved were found guilty by the Pingtung District Court in 2014.
The other three former county councilors — Huang Shun-fa (黃順發), Tu Chun-sheng (杜春生) and Lin Hui-hsiung (林輝雄) — cooperated with prosecutors and received suspended sentences after repaying the illicit profits.
Pan, Lin Yu-ju and Lien, who were originally sentenced to between eight and nine years in prison, saw their sentences reduced earlier this year in accordance with the Speedy Criminal Trials Act (刑事妥速審判法).
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