TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Talk show commentator Clara Chou (周玉蔻) saw the Taiwan High Court confirm her NT$2 million (US$64,700) defamation fine Tuesday to Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. Chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) over allegations of illegal political donations.
The only change from a Taipei District Court verdict issued in August 2015 was that Chou only had to publish an apology in four newspapers instead of seven, reports said. A further appeal was still possible.
The case went back to the 2014 Taipei City mayoral elections, when rumors emerged that an unspecified person had made an illegal contribution of NT$300 million (US$9.6 million) to Kuomintang candidate Sean Lien (連勝文), who went on to lose the vote.
The reports were apparently based on a misunderstanding by the winning independent candidate, present-day Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲).
While Ko never mentioned the name of the alleged donor, after the election Chou publicly mentioned Gou, one of the island’s wealthiest businessmen, as being the “NT$300 million man.”
Gou, whose company is famous for manufacturing Apple Inc. products, denied the allegations and sued Chou, demanding NT$10 million (US$323,000) in compensation.
The misunderstanding probably stemmed from a donation the tycoon had made to the previous city administration to fund a Taipei pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, reports said.
The courts said they had ruled against Chou because she had failed to seek evidence for her allegations against Gou.