Taiwan's ex-president Ma Ying-jeou charged with breach of trust

Ma and five other KMT officials have been charged for either breach of trust or embezzlement, money laudering

Former President Ma Ying-jeou

Former President Ma Ying-jeou (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The Taipei District Prosecutors Office filed a charge against former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) Tuesday, July 10, for criminal breach of trust for his involvement in the KMT's sale of assets.

Former KMT legislator and the party's Central Policy Committee director Alex Tsai (蔡正元), Tsai's wife Queena Hung (洪菱霙), Hung's father, former KMT high-level official Chang Che-chen (張哲琛), and KMT-owned Central Investment Co. former general manager Steve Wong (汪海清) are facing criminal charges.

Ma, Chang and Wong have been charged for breach of trust under the Securities and Exchange Act, while Tsai, his wife and father-in-law have been charged for embezzlement and money laundering.

Ma had originally been found not guilty of the charges in 2014 for lack of evidence, but prosecutors appealed the verdict.

The Taipei District Prosecutors Office said in a statement that then KMT chairperson Ma knew that Albert Yu (余建新), the buyer of the party-owned companies - China Television, Central Motion Pictures Corp., the Broadcasting Corp. of China - was financially incapable of performing the transaction, but he still forced the deals in favor of Yu, with an aim to falsely impress people that the party had withdrawn from the media, but in truth it had not.

The office added that the transactions came at the expense of the Central Investment Co. and the party's assets in exchange for personal interests. The Central Investment Co. has incurred losses of up to NT$3.85 billion (US$0.13 billion) combined from the three deals.

Some KMT former high-level officials are believed to have received bribes in the deals, according to local media reports.

In May, Ma was sentenced to four months in prison, which can be commuted to a fine of NT$120,000, on charges of leaking classified information.