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Taiwan ex-defense minister to pay fine

Taiwan ex-defense minister to pay fine

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former Defense Minister Chen Li-an will have to repay NT$100,000 (US$3,400) for forgery but charges for embezzling NT$24.2 million (US$834,000) from his foundation will not be pursued because time has elapsed, reports said Wednesday.
The Taipei Prosecutors Office decided not to charge Chen for pocketing the money from his Chen Cheng Cultural and Educational Foundation because the facts dated back more than the legal limit of ten years, reports said. However, forgery accusations were still valid but prosecutors ruled the charges would be deferred and Chen would only have to pay a fine.
Prosecutors said Chen collected the NT$24.2 million from investors and friends to put into a bank account and prove to the Ministry of Education that the foundation he chaired was financially viable.
Chen and a foundation employee admitted they had forged documents, but the former minister insisted that not a single cent from the sum had found its way into his pockets, reports said. The foundation used all the funds at its disposal for charity and Chen said.
Critics said the verdict showed too much leniency and prosecutors had acted too slowly in letting accusations about events from before 2001 drag out beyond the statute of limitations.
Chen was Taiwan’s first civilian defense minister and also served as economics minister and as president of the Control Yuan, the nation’s top government watchdog. He ran for president as an independent in the first direct presidential election in 1996 but finished fourth and last. He was also known as a devout Buddhist.
His father, Chen Cheng, served as premier and governor of Taiwan and was once considered to be the country’s second most powerful man, ranking only behind President Chiang Kai-shek.


Updated : 2021-05-06 10:08 GMT+08:00