Former top investigator guilty of leaking information
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-03-26 03:28 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Yeh Sheng-mao, a former chief of the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau, was sentenced to six months in prison Wednesday for leaking classified information to then-President Chen Shui-bian.

The Taiwan High Court verdict overturns an earlier not-guilty ruling and can no longer be appealed. However, the official one-year sentence has been immediately reduced to six months and can be replaced by a fine, reports said.

In 2006, the Cayman Islands unit of an international anti-money laundering body, the Egmont Group, sent a report to the MJIB indicating suspicions that the president’s family was laundering money through an account at a bank in Switzerland.

Yeh reportedly told officials he would hand the report to the prosecutor-general, but instead he gave the file to Chen during a visit to the Presidential Office. The intelligence chief later argued he put his loyalty to the president first.

Yeh still faces a separate investigation by the Taipei District Prosecutors Office into the presence of 25 names of suspects allegedly faxed to Chen’s office, reports said. Prosecutors reportedly wanted to know whether the information was supplied to the former president by Yeh.

Last March 5, prosecutors closed a money-laundering investigation into former President Lee Teng-hui after concluding that a mistake by Yeh was at the base of the allegations.

The former chief investigator already served five months of a 16-month sentence in other cases related to Chen. He was also found guilty of hiding information from the prosecutor-general and for leaking data about a raid on a company to top Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Ker Chien-ming.

Yeh’s attorney said Wednesday the latest ruling by the High Court was too severe, but there was apparently no way left to appeal.

Former President Chen is serving a 20-year prison sentence for corruption-related charges at a Taichung prison hospital because of his precarious medical and psychological situation. Campaigners have called for medical parole because they fear for his health.

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