Wu Shu-jen sentenced to 1 year in prison
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
Page 1
2009-09-02 12:00 AM
Former First Lady Wu Shu-jen was sentenced to one year in prison for perjury yesterday in one of the corruption cases surrounding her husband, ex-President Chen Shui-bian. The Taipei District Court found her guilty of abetting her children to give false testimony in the financial scandals, so she initially received a two-year jail sentence, which was immediately converted to one year according to the rules on confessions, said court spokesman Huang Chun-ming.

Her son Chen Chih-chung, her daughter Chen Hsing-yu and son-in-law Chao Chien-ming each received six-month prison sentences instead of one year, also because they confessed, Huang said.

The three were accused of lying to investigators as inconsistencies showed up during questioning about receipts they gave to Wu to claim reimbursement from a government fund. The children falsely said the purchases were gifts they bought for their parents, according to prosecutors. The receipts were part of a case against Wu which was opened in late 2006.

Wu later confessed she had asked them to misrepresent facts to prosecutors in order to protect her and expressed regret over dragging her family into her legal problems.

Yesterday's heaviest sentence, one year and six months in prison, was for former Taipei 101 Chairwoman Diana Chen, who is not related to the ex-presidential family.

During questioning by prosecutors last year, she reportedly admitted she gave NT$10 million to Wu in 2004 to buy her an executive position at a prominent securities house after losing a power struggle at the China Development Financial Holding. Chen did not obtain the securities job, but went on to lead Taipei 101 until early this year. However, appearing in court last April, she changed her story, insisting the money had been a political donation destined for the Democratic Progressive Party.

The businesswoman was the only of those indicted for perjury who denied the charge all the way. The court spokesman told reporters her heavier sentence was partly the result of her "attitude problems."

Appeal against yesterday's verdicts is still possible. Under new regulations introduced on the same day, six-month prison sentences can be converted to public service by prosecutors.

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