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Talk show host not guilty of slandering president

Talk show host not guilty of slandering president

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – President Ma Ying-jeou will appeal against a not-guilty verdict for talk show host Clara Chou Thursday over her allegations that he received NT$200 million (US$6 million) from beleaguered Ting Hsin International, the Presidential Office said.
The case was linked to widespread allegations a year ago of close links between Ma’s ruling Kuomintang and the business group, which has been at the center of several food safety scandals.
Chou, who has been waging a war of words with KMT leaders for the past two years, alleged that Ting Hsin received political protection, with one of the reasons being donations to the ruling party. She named Ma as the recipient of NT$200 million in political donations from Ting Hsin.
The president sued her in his personal capacity for aggravated defamation, but the Taipei District Court on Thursday found her not guilty.
According to Presidential Office spokesman Charles Chen, the Supreme Prosecutors Office Special Investigation Division closed its investigation into the matter last June with the conclusion that no illegal behavior had been found. The SID spent six months on the case interviewing 110 witnesses, reviewing 100,000 financial transactions and investigating 57 related organizations, Chen said.
The Taipei District Court also said that there was no evidence to prove that Ma or anybody from his team had received illegal financial donations from Ting Hsin, according to Chen.
The president saw recurring allegations by talk show hosts and guests as a cause for social chaos, Chen said, making it necessary for him to file an appeal against Thursday’s not-guilty verdict for Chou.