Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Sentences handed out in Lafayette frigate scandal

Captain Yin is believed about to publicize bribes payment before his murder in 1993

Sentences handed out in Lafayette frigate scandal

Former naval officer Kuo Li-heng and his brother Kuo Wen-tien were given 15-year and two-year sentences respectively by the Taipei District Court yesterday after they were found guilty of illegal gains from the purchase of warships from France in the decade-long Lafayette scandal. The accused can still choose to appeal the ruling.
Kuo brothers
In 2005, prosecutors indicted the Kuo brothers, fugitive arms dealer Andrew Wang and his family for their alleged involvement in the sale of the six Lafayette frigates by Thales' precursor Thomson-CSF for US$2.8 billion.
Wang was a Taiwanese agent for French arms supplier Thompson-CSF.
Prosecutors also indicted former Vice-Admiral Lei Hsueh-ming, charging him and a total of six defendants with corruption associated with the 1991 purchase. They were acquitted, however, in a June 25 ruling by the same court.
Yin's death
The scandal exploded into the news with the mysterious murder of Navy Captain Yin Ching-feng in late 1993. The officer was believed to have been about to publicize the payment of bribes in the frigate deal.
His death became one of Taiwan's most prominent unsolved murders of the 1990s.
The Wang brothers had been wanted by Taiwanese prosecutors on the murder charge of Yin since September 2000.
Taiwan-France relations
The scandal also reportedly impacted Taiwan-France relations as on May 3, the International Court of Arbitration ruled that French defense group Thales should pay Taiwan an estimated US$860 million (NT$27 billion) as a sanction for the payment of commissions in the purchase of Lafayette frigates.
It is reported that Paris was pulling out a technical team as a protest against an arbitration ruling in Taiwan's favor in the Lafayette frigate scandal. But both Taiwan and France authorities have denied the possibility of such an action.


Updated : 2021-06-17 16:57 GMT+08:00