The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a guilty verdict against former Taipei City councilor Lai Su-ju (賴素如) in a corruption case dating back to 2013.
Rejecting Lai’s appeal, the Supreme Court upheld a seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence handed down by the Taiwan High Court, and suspended his civil rights for four years.
The NT$1 million (US$35,023 at the current exchange rate) that she received in kickbacks has been confiscated.
As Lai was to remain free until her prison term began, the court instructed the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office to ensure that she does not flee.
In 2014, Lai was convicted before the Taipei District Court, after being charged a year earlier with taking a bribe from a consortium led by Taipei Gateway International Development Co in return for ensuring that it won the tender to develop the proposed Taipei Twin Towers (台北雙子星大樓) project near Taipei Railway Station in October 2012 with a NT$70 billion bid.
She was convicted of taking a down payment of NT$1 million in cash from a bagman identified only by the surname Peng (彭).
The district court sentenced Lai to 10 years in prison and suspended her civil rights for five years, but Lai appealed the decision.
In the 2016 appeal, the Taiwan High Court sentenced her to nine years in prison and suspended her civil rights for nine years.
Lai again appealed and the Supreme Court asked the high court to review its verdict.
As a result, Lai’s prison term was reduced to seven-and-a-half years and her civil rights were suspended for four years.
Lai had previously been acquitted on charges of owning property of unknown origin and concealing the proceeds of criminal activity.
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