Kuo Yao-chi continues to proclaim innocence of bribery charges

Former Minister of Transportation Kuo Yao-chi once more proclaimed in a press conference Sunday that she is innocent of charges that she took US$20,000 from executives of the Nan Ren Hu Group, a service industry conglomerate, to help them in a bid for renovations on Taipei Main Station in 2006. Kuo, who was accompanied by her lawyer Wellington Koo as well as NTUH Trauma Department Director Wen-je Ko, insisted throughout the press conference that "I did not take the money, I really did not take the money."

Kuo was found innocent in two trials in Taipei District Court in 2009 and 2010 but then lost in a re-trial in the Taiwan High Court in 2011 when a judge ruled that no contract needs to be awarded in order for the charge of bribery to stick. The Taiwan Supreme Court later upheld the High Court’s verdict and a sentence of eight years in prison and loss of civil rights for four years.

Kuo noted that she had provided decades of service as a public servant, adding that if she were the kind of person who accepted bribes and did strange things for other people it would have been obvious to everyone. She explained that Nan Ren Hu never submitted a bid for the renovation contract and said she cannot accept the verdict in the case. She repeated an earlier statement that she may sue Lee Tsung-hsien, the son of the group’s chairman, for perjury based on inconsistencies in his testimony against her in previous trials.

Koo and Ko announced that they were appearing in order to show solidarity with Kuo. Ko admitted that he is not a legal expert, he is just an ordinary citizen, but added that he has "often seen examples of judicial harassment of citizens in Taiwan." Speaking in support of Kuo, Ko said that anyone who has known her can attest to her integrity. He noted that questionable judicial decisions can make people feel that the justice system is little more than a lottery.