Taiwan ex-President Ma Ying-jeou still faces three legal cases

Cases involve land sale, bank takeover and Taipei Dome

Ex-President Ma Ying-jeou.

Ex-President Ma Ying-jeou. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) still has to face three legal cases following a recent indictment and a prison sentence issued last May, reports said Thursday.

He was charged on July 10 for criminal breach of trust due to his alleged involvement in the sale of Kuomintang (KMT) media companies when he chaired the party.

In May, the former president was sentenced to four months in prison, possible to be commuted to a fine of NT$120,000 (US$3,900), for leaking classified information from a judicial investigation.

However, according to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office, investigations are still continuing into the former president’s role in three cases. They involve a sale of land for the National Development Institute, the takeover of a Taipei City-owned bank by the Fubon Financial Holding while Ma served as mayor of the capital, and the Taipei Dome project.

In the NDI case, the son of the original land owner has accused the KMT of forcing his father to sell the 8.8 hectares at an extremely low price in 1962, while the party, under Ma’s leadership, was making a NT$30 billion (US$980 million) profit on the land in 2009, the Liberty Times reported.

In the second case, a disgruntled bank manager who said he was laid off because he opposed the takeover has accused Ma, when he served as mayor of 2002, of selling the city-owned bank to Fubon Financial at a price which netted the corporation NT$30 billion in unwarranted profit.

The third case finally, includes allegations that Ma’s city director of finance allowed the Farglory Group too many advantages in the contract for the building of the Taipei Dome. After the KMT left office in Taipei, the new city government became involved in a dispute with the developer which led to a stop of work on the stadium project.

Since Ma left the presidency in 2016, prosecutors conducted more than 160 investigations involving him, but most have been closed off, the Liberty Times reported.

In the case for which he was indicted earlier in the week, the breach of trust centered on the sale of China Television, Broadcasting Corporation of China and Central Motion Pictures Corporation to businessman Albert Yu (余建新) in a deal which reportedly caused the KMT’s Central Investment Co. NT$3.85 billion (US$130 million) in losses. The transaction also reportedly gave the impression that the KMT had withdrawn from the media, even though it had not.

The case for which he was sentenced to prison involved him calling the state prosecutor general to his residence and sharing allegations of influence peddling against a political rival with close confidants before the investigation had been completed.