After Chen was given the “not guilty” verdict, Chiu Yi (邱毅), a legislator from the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), expressed his shock at the outcome of the retrial, which he said was a focus of world attention.
The justices have sold their souls to the devil, Chiu said, adding the country was now one in which “all are guilty except Chen and his family”,
,writes the China Post, reporting the results a re-trial of former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁, of the oppositional Democratic Progressive Party, DPP) and his wife Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), on Friday. Chen and his family were also given lighter sentences in two other cases, than in previous trials, reports the China Post.
According to the BBC,
[..] Taiwan’s High Court has acquitted Chen of the charge [of embezzling some $5m (£3m) from a special presidential fund while he was in power].
The court, however, found him guilty of money laundering and forging documents, and handed down the additional two-year sentence. That brings his overall sentence to about 20 years.
Chen’s wife, former first lady Wu Shu-chen, received a longer sentence of nearly 12 years at the retrial, but she is unlikely to spend any time in prison because of her poor health, says the BBC’s Cindy Sui in Taipei.
On September 11, 2009, Chen had been sentenced to life in prison. Most recently, his total sentence had been at 17.5 years in jail, and the latest round added two years and eight months to that, writes the Taipei Times. Previous convictions for a role in the use of fraudulent receipts to obtain reimbursement for spending from the state affairs fund, and in a money laundering case that concerned a land deal in Taoyuan County’s Longtan were upheld and led to the (even if partly commuted) additional time in jail. According to the Special Investigation Division (SID) under the Taiwan Supreme Prosecutors’ Office said that it would appeal the verdicts, claiming the public would have difficulty accepting the new sentences, according to the China Post.
The BBC report quotes analysts saying that the ruling could appease Chen’s supporters and help President Ma Ying-jeou, who is seeking re-election in the upcoming January presidential race, plus the station’s correspondent in Taiwan as suggesting that quite to the contrary, it could also help the opposition party which Chen once led, by giving it more leverage to accuse the governing party of playing politics in prosecutions.
To Chiu Yi, the KMT lawmaker quoted at the beginning of this post, the evidence is clear:
Chen really has many moles operating in the judiciary, Chiu concluded,
according to the China Post