Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-10-17 07:46 PM
Former Taiwan High Court judge Tsai Kuang-chih saw his 20-year sentence confirmed, while ex-colleagues Chen Jung-ho received 18 years and Lee Chun-ti 11 years and six months for receiving money from former KMT legislator Ho Chih-hui and a former judge in return for not-guilty verdicts. No appeals were possible.
Ironically, it was the prosecutors’ investigation into Chen which led to wiretaps recording the alleged influence peddling by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng and top opposition lawmaker Ker Chien-ming. The incident touched off more than a month of political strife.
Ho, a powerful former Miaoli County magistrate and ex-lawmaker, was accused of paying Chen NT$2 million (US$68,000) and Lee NT$1.5 million (US$51,000) in return for a not-guilty verdict following earlier 19-year and 15-year prison sentences for irregularities in a land expropriation project.
Tsai was found guilty of accepting money from another judge, Chang Ping-lung, to clear him of corruption charges after allegedly having accepted a bribe from another person in 1996.
The Supreme Court gave Chang a one-year prison sentence Thursday. Former prosecutor Chiu Mao-jung was sentenced to six years, attorney Chang Chuan to two years for allegedly having helped Lee’s wife to lie to the court, and ex-prosecutor Chiu Chuang-shun to 18 months on related charges.
Another suspect, Fang Ah-sheng, did not appeal to the Supreme Court and was already serving an earlier sentence of 10 years and six months, reports said.
The case broke into the open in 2010 and was followed by disciplinary action against the judges, but the latest definitive verdicts were likely to initiate a new round of sanctions, reports said.
The Taipei Prosecutors Office said it was taking measures to prevent the guilty from escaping the country.
Prosecutors described Thursday’s Supreme Court verdicts as an important signal against corruption in the judiciary.