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Ma found not guilty of corruption charges

Taipei District Court ruled around 10am Tuesday former Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou was not guilty of pocketing NT$11 million during his tenure as Taipei mayor from a special allowance fund set aside for his discretionary use.
Ma, who is the main opposition Kuomintang's presidential candidate, was indicted in February on charges of misusing the special allowance fund during his two terms as Taipei mayor from 1998 to 2006. Court hearings on Ma's indictment began in April.
The "not guilty" ruling came out to victorious chants of "supporting Ma Ying-jeou" from Ma's supporters outside the court. Ma's lawyer, Daniel Song, said he welcomed the court sentence and repeatedly stressed Ma was totally innocent of the corruption charge.
The Taipei District Court said the reason the presiding judges made the ruling of not guilty on the case is that they believed Ma had no intention of misusing the special allowance fund as he has been treating the fund as extra salaries which could be used for personal purposes, an opinion very different from that of the prosecutors. The court said the prosecutors could appeal against the court sentence. If the prosecutors appeal the sentence, another court ruling on the appeal is expected to come down before the election day in March, 2008 and bring a variable on the presidential election.
The court ruling is judged to have much bearing on Ma's campaign for the 2008 presidential election. According to electoral laws, Ma would have been disqualified as a presidential candidate if he had been found guilty and given a sentence of more than 10-year in prison.
The ruling Democratic Progressive Party called the court ruling a result of interference by political power, while the KMT was overjoyed about the court decision and called it "a victory of justice."

Updated : 2021-10-23 00:35 GMT+08:00