Taiwan former top investigator shows up for jail sentence

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau chief Yeh Sheng-mao showed up at the Taipei Prosecutors Office to serve out a sentence for hiding information about alleged money laundering by ex-President Chen Shui-bian and his family.
The former top investigator’s return to prison was the result of a February 6 verdict by the Supreme Court sentencing him to 16 months.
He will have to serve at least six months in jail before he can apply for parole, reports said. In May 2011, Yeh was sentenced to two years and six months in prison for leaking information, and he served until receiving parole last September 13.
The former chief investigator was convicted in a total of three cases. In addition to hiding the information about Chen from other investigators, he was also found guilty of leaking it to the then-president, warning him that an international investigation was looking into overseas accounts and money laundering by his relatives. The third case involved Yeh revealing advance information about raids on a company to prominent Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Ker Chien-ming, who had been suspected of illegal links with the firm.
At the district court level, Yeh was sentenced to a total of 10 years in prison, but appeals managed to cut the jail terms to three years and eight months, but that included the time he already served.
Yeh was supposed to appear at the prosecutors’ office Tuesday morning, but he reportedly postponed his arrival until the afternoon, reports said.
The former MJIB chief was one of the key players in a wave of trials and accusations against Chen and his entourage. The former president has been staying at the Veterans General Hospital in Taipei since last September amid deteriorating health and treatment for a severe depression.
He has been serving a 20-year prison sentence at the Taipei Prison in Taoyuan County on charges of corruption involving alleged money laundering and bribes. The allegations included the approval of mergers in the financial sector in return for political donations and the laundering of funds in overseas bank accounts. Several of his and his wife’s relatives, as well as former close aides and officials, were found guilty of illegal behavior.
Chen’s deteriorating condition has given rise to calls for his release on medical parole, with his case being supported by online campaigns, visits by foreign dignitaries and the recent release of video material showing his alarming health situation.