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Attorney criticizes 'excessively light sentence' for retired Taiwanese general

Sentence of former general who received illegal donations from China reduced to 2 years

Xu (left), Luo (center), and Ma. (Facebook, Chinese Huangpu Four Seas Alliance Association photo)

Xu (left), Luo (center), and Ma. (Facebook, Chinese Huangpu Four Seas Alliance Association photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A prominent attorney on Wednesday (Jan. 13) chastised the high court for reducing the sentence of a retired general who received illegal political donations from a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) member to only two years.

In December of last year, retired Taiwanese Army Lieutenant General Luo Wen-shan (羅文山) was sentenced to two and half years in prison by the Taipei District Court "for illegally receiving donations from the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) during former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. Specifically, he was charged with receiving political donations from CPPCC member and Hong Kong businessman Hui Chi-ming (許智明) during his tenure at a pro-Kuomintang (KMT) non-profit organization geared towards retired military officers.

However, the high court on Tuesday (Jan. 12) reduced Luo's prison sentence to two years and made it commutable to a NT$70,000 (US$2,500) fine.

Attorney Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) on Wednesday condemned the court's decision as an "excessively light sentence," reported Liberty Times. He said the court's reasoning for reducing the sentence was that Luo is 85 years old, served in the military for many years, and had no previous criminal record.

However, he said that this logic is "quite absurd." Huang insisted that precisely because Luo had been in the military for such a long time, he should be more aware of the relevant provisions of the Political Donations Act.

Huang noted that since Luo is a retired general, his pension is provided by Taiwan's taxpayers. For violating his military duty and loyalty to the country, he should receive more severe punishment, argued Huang, adding that the court's judgment contradicts its stated rationale.

He emphasized that reduced sentences are typically handed out to senior citizens who confess their crimes. However, Luo pled innocent, claiming he had not accepted political donations.

"Yet, he still received a light sentence," said Huang. The lawyer lamented that "It is obvious that the judges of the high court lack the need to defend democracy and awareness of national security and supported the appeal."