TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Former New Taipei Deputy Mayor Hsu Chih-chien (許志堅) was sentenced to 10 years in prison for corruption by the Taipei District Court on Monday.
Hsu was charged with corruption in late 2015 along with family members and people involved in two construction companies. His brother and son were both sentenced to four months in prison for their roles in the case.
During his term as deputy mayor from Dec. 25, 2010 to June 30, 2014, Hsu served concurrently as New Taipei urban renewal project screening committee director-general and as New Taipei urban planning committee deputy director-general. He was also a close aid to Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫).
The original indictment stated that Hsu accepted bribes from Formosa 21 Construction Co. (寶興建設) and Le Young Construction Co. (樂揚建設), the value of which was estimated at NT$7.58 million (about US$245,000), according to CNA.
Hsu was given NT$110,000 in monthly payments totaling NT$4 million from Formosa 21. He also received gifts of gold, watches and Chanel products.
Through his official position he pushed for expedited screening processes for the two companies as well as the adoption of regulations that would violate laws at the time. The construction projects involved in the case are located in Xindian and Banqiao.
Le Young’s general manager was sentenced to six months in prison and cannot participate in any political activities for one year. Hong Shen Construction and Development Co. (弘盛開發) chair Chou Li-hui (周麗惠), who is also the wife of a supervisor at Formosa 21, was fined NT$5 million, according to a Liberty Times report.
PXmart (全聯福利中心) head Lin Ming-shiung (林敏雄) was questioned by prosecutors in 2015 for his role in the case. Lin also owns construction company Yuan Lih Group (元利建設). After his interrogation, he became a witness, along with a Yuan Lih spokesman, in the case against Hsu.
Hsu claimed that Chou Li-hui gave his brother and son each NT$40,000 every month, while he only received NT$30,000. He said that the gold and luxury watches were not gifts from Chou but rather items he intended to pay for in preparation for his daughter’s wedding, UDN reported.
Hsu denies any wrongdoing and may appeal the court ruling.