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Chiayi County chief angry at verdict

Chiayi County chief angry at verdict

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Chiayi County Magistrate Helen Chang alleged political interference in Tuesday’s 20-month prison sentence for leaking confidential information.
The Kaohsiung District Court found Chang, a senior member of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, not guilty of accepting bribes but sentenced her to separate prison sentences for divulging confidential information to companies likely to bid for a county government contract. A sentence of two years and six months on 16 counts could be replaced by a fine, but a separate 20-month term could not, reports said.
Her sister Chang Ying-chi was sentenced to 10 years in prison with allegedly illegal income of NT$4.17 million (US$127,000) to be confiscated. Several of 19 other defendants, including business people and academics, received prison terms ranging from several months to six years, reports said.
Chang reacted angrily to the verdict, saying there was ample evidence of political interference in the handling of her case by the judiciary and predicting she would appeal.
The court had obviously cleared her of corruption, but twice it postponed its verdict, waiting until just one month before the crucial January 16 presidential and legislative elections, she said.
Chang said she had no doubts about appealing the district court sentence, which had left her shocked and angry.
According to the investigation by prosecutors, the company she was accused of leaking the information to had not even bothered to compete in the bid for the contract, she said. The public could judge how those who should be sentenced were declared not guilty, while those who were innocent were dealt with harshly, she said, in an apparent reference to last months’ not-guilty verdict for former Ting Hsin International Chairman Wei Ying-chung in a major food safety scandal.
Chang also noted that from the first raids by more than 300 investigators directed at the Chiayi County Government until Tuesday’s ruling, the case had taken more than three years to proceed.


Updated : 2021-09-28 06:01 GMT+08:00