Movie director will not appeal sentence

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Movie director Doze Niu said Saturday he would not appeal against a suspended prison sentence and a fine he incurred for helping a Chinese national entering a Taiwanese naval base.
On Friday, the Kaohsiung District Court gave him a suspended five-month prison sentence or a fine of NT$150,000 (US$4,900), while also demanding he pay NT$600,000 (US$19,500) into government coffers and perform 60 hours of community service.
The prominent director was found guilty of having violated the Vital Areas Regulations by helping Chinese cinematographer Cao Yu to pose as a Taiwanese national for a visit to the Zuoying naval base in Kaohsiung. Niu and his crew were scouting locations in the base for his movie “Paradise in Service” last year.
In an online statement, the director admitted he had made a mistake and said he would accept the punishment meted out by the court, meaning he would not file an appeal against the sentence.
Writing from the United States, he said he would bear the consequences of his actions and say more at an appropriate time.
Addressing criticism that despite pleading financial problems, he was seen attending a US basketball game in the front row just days before the verdict, he said that a friend had invited him to watch the competition. He didn’t say when he would return to Taiwan.
The court still has to deal with Cao, who left Taiwan shortly after working on Niu’s movie.
In a reaction to the incident, the Ministry of National Defense canceled its cooperation with Niu’s crew and set tighter guidelines for future movie projects.
“Paradise in Service,” which was released last September, is a coming-of-age story about a young military conscript posted on the frontline island of Kinmen during a period of high tension with China.