A former reporter and her boyfriend who were indicted on charges of blackmailing a business tycoon last year were found guilty and sentenced, respectively, to one year and 10 months and two years in prison.
The Taipei District Court announced the verdicts after questioning Tsang Chia-yi, who worked with the Next weekly, her boyfriend Huang Chang-ping, and former China Times weekly chief editor Yang Jen-kai, who served as a go-between.
Yang was also found guilty and given a prison term of one year, which was commuted to six months under a national commutation decree.
The three defendants had not yet decided if they would appeal their case in the Taiwan High Court.
Tsang, Huang, and Yang were accused of collaborating in a scheme to blackmail Hon Hai Precision Chairman Terry Guo in exchange for Tsang's agreement not to publish a book with content critical of Guo.
According to the indictment, Tsang sent the outline and some parts of her book to Guo and asked him to write a preface for it, which she had titled "Burned By the Scorching Sun - What You Don't Know About Terry Guo."
Guo reportedly felt threatened after reading the "sensational and viciously spicy" contents of what Tsang's book. During the trial, Guo told the judges that there would nothing to miss about Taiwan if Tsang and the other people who tried to blackmail him were acquitted.
The prosecutor said in the indictment that Tsang and her boyfriend, surnamed Huang, had demanded NT$32 million from Guo in exchange for not publishing the book. Tsang was arrested when she went to collect the from a safe deposit box in the VIP room at a local bank, where she also signed a document pledging to keep the whole incident confidential.
During police interrogation, both Tsang and Huang claimed they were just "selling" the book's copyrights. They were arrested last December on charges of intimidating a victim and obtaining illicit funds.