Taipei District Court clears Ma of unaccounted special expense funds charges

Former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou is still entangled in a number of corruption and secret leaks cases.

(By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Following a high-profile indictment last week over a secrets leak while serving as Taiwan president, Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was spared a corruption charge over the unaccounted special expense funds, as the Taipei District Prosecutors Office cited Monday that the Supreme Court acquitted him of the same charge in 2008 and Taiwan's Legislature has decriminalized the use of the special expense funds occurring before the end of 2006.

The ruling was made in response to a complaint filed by then-legislator Hsieh Hsin-ni (謝欣霓) and then-city councilor Yen Sheng-kuan (顏聖冠) between 2006 and 2007 over the legitimacy of the use of Ma's special expense funds as Taipei Mayor and of its use on Ma's adopted dog. The case had been established before the Supreme Court's ruling on a similar case in 2008.

The office said that the case against Ma should be in line with the one of 2008 as the two referred to the same event, and the act was decriminalized by a bill passed in 2011.

According to the Chinese-language Liberty Times, more than 1,000 officials and their aides from both the Kuomintang and Democratic Progressive Party were involved in the legal cases regarding the special expense funds in the period between 2006 and 2007, including former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), due to legal ambiguity, prompting legislators of both parties to modify regulations on the special expense funds in 2011 that decriminalized personal use of the special funds.

Apart from the secrets leaks and the special expense funds, Ma is still under investigation for cases including the long-running Taipei Dome dispute, leaking of state secrets regarding the Ma-Xi Meeting, oversight of the Maokong Gondola, income from unknown sources, mishandling of Kuomintang party assets, the Fubon Bank merger case and National Development Research Institute land purchase scandals.