Former Taiwan leader gets reduced sentence

08:06, June 12, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Taiwan's High Court rejected an appeal Friday by convicted former Taiwanese "president" Chen Shui-bian on graft charges, but reduced his sentence from life imprisonment to 20 years, a controversial ruling that divided Taiwan politicians and the public.

Chen, 59, and his wife Wu Shu-chen were sued over at least six cases of crimes including embezzlement, receiving bribes, money laundering, committing forgery and other abuses from 2000 to 2008, when he was in power.

In the first trial over four cases in September 2009, Chen and Wu were found guilty and both were sentenced to life imprisonment by the Taipei District Court, making him the first former leader convicted after stepping down.

Chief Judge Teng Chen-chiu said Friday that the High Court decided to reduce Chen's sentence mainly because it "considered the amount of embezzled public funds smaller than the lower court," the BBC reported Friday.

Taiwan's Central News Agency reported that the embezzled amount, which stood at NT$14 mil-lion ($432,100), is much less than the NT$174 million previously ruled by the district court.

As of Thursday, Chen Shui-bian's family had wired back NT$460 million of the NT$700 million in an account in Switzerland, a move that helped reduce the couple's sentences, the report said.

Chen was fined NT$170 million and Wu was fined NT$200 million in the latest verdict. Both totals were lower than the NT$200 million and NT$300 million fines from the first trial.

"He was not pleased at the ruling and believes he should have been acquitted," Shih Yi-lin, Chen's lawyer, was quoted by the AP as saying. "But he also believes he has a good chance on the next appeal, so he was not particularly upset."

Chen could appeal next to Taiwan's Supreme Court, and if the court upholds his conviction, he can further appeal to the highest court on the island, the Council of Grand Justices. Chen could also be pardoned by Taiwan's incumbent president, but only after the legal process against him has been exhausted.

Chen's son, Chen Chih-chung, was sentenced to one year and two months in prison with a fine of NT$30 million. Huang Jui-ching, the son's wife, got a one-year term and a fine of NT$20 million, according to today's ruling, Presiding Judge Teng said in the court Friday.

Security was intensified around the courthouse during the sentencing. After the ruling, Chen's supporters expressed their dissatisfaction and sang songs asking the court to declare Chen innocent. But his opponents held banners outside the court in hopes that the previous ruling would be upheld.

Source:Global Times
【1】 【2】


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Giant red lantern lights up in Tiananmen Square to celebrate the coming National Day on Oct. 1. (Xinhua/Li Xin)
  • A ceremony is held in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan, on Sept. 28, 2011, to commemorate the 2,562nd birthday of Confucius (551-479 BC), a Chinese thinker, educationist and philosopher. (Xinhua/Wu Ching-teng)
  • The world's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner for delivery arrives at Haneda airport in Tokyo, capital of Japan, on Sept. 28, 2011. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, whose buyer is All Nippon Airways (ANA), will implement a flight of ANA on Oct. 26 from Tokyo's Narita Airport to Hong Kong in south China. (Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)
  • A Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) fighter shows what is believed to be human jawbone found inside a mass grave near Abu Salim prison in Tripoli, Libya, Spet. 27, 2011. The NTC on Sunday said they had found a mass grave containing the bodies of 1,270 people killed by Gaddafi's security forces in a 1996 massacre at Abu Salim prison in southern Tripoli. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
  • Rescue workers and local residents search for survivors after a building collapsed in old Delhi, India, Sept. 27, 2011. At least 10 people were killed and 35 injured when an old three-storey building collapsed. More than a dozen people are still feared trapped under the debris, police said. (Xinhua/Partha Sarkar)
  • A visitor has flying experience in the windmill castle of Jinshitan National Holiday resort in Dalian, northeast China's Liaoning Province, Sept. 27, 2011. The castle is a 23-meter-high building with 21 meters in diameter. The castle uses wind tunnel to make objects floating in the air. It is the first indoor stadium in China, which enables people to have flying experience. (Xinhua/Zhang Chunlei)
Hot Forum Discussion