Taiwan general given 10 years for bribery

Sept. 2, 2009 at 3:55 PM
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TAIPEI, Taiwan, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- In one of Taiwan's worst military scandals a court has sentenced a retired general to 10 years in a construction procurement and attempted bribery case.

Yuan Hsiao-lung, a former lieutenant-general and deputy commanding general of the Reserve Command, a logistics outfit, was given 10 years and four months for attempting to bribe his seniors to get promoted to the rank of full general, according to a report in the China Post newspaper's Web site.

The charges of bribery, corruption and blackmail relate to before his obligatory retirement in July 2006.

Hsiao-lung's sentence is the latest episode on the country's attempt to crackdown on corruption, including the sentencing of a former president's wife.

Hsiao-lung is said to have leaked key information about a military construction project to construction contractor. In return, the contractor, Lin Chih-Chung, promised to pay a bribe of around $180,000 to Hsiao-lung's senior officers in order for him to be promoted to the rank of general.

Prosecutors had sought a 22-year prison term for Yuan, who applied for retirement after believing that a promotion was not coming his way, the Post noted.

Lin was also sentenced and given a three-year prison term. Yuan and Lin can appeal their sentences to a higher court but their lawyers gave no indication that this would follow.

Several other suspects were either acquitted or given suspended sentences.

The sentence comes as another court sentenced four family members of former President Chen Shui-bian on charges of perjury, the Internet news site Taiwan Today said, quoting the Chinese language United Daily News.

Wu Shui-chen, the wife of Shui-bian, was given a sentence of two years and the former president's son Chen Chih-chung, his daughter Chen Hsing-yu and his son-in-law Chao Chien-ming all received one-year for perjury.

However, all the sentences were cut in half because the defendants admitted to the crimes.

The case, started in 2006, was for the misuse of the presidential state affairs fund by former President Chen Shui-bian, the United Daily News said.

All were found guilty of fraudulently passing off receipts for supposed government business including official banquets and buying presents on behalf of the president for his work. No details of the amount of the receipts were reported in the media.

The sentences are part of a wider case against former President Chen Shui-bian, 58, who is accused of embezzling more than $3 million while in office between 2000 and 2008.

Chen, whose case continues, has pleaded not guilty and claims he is being persecuted for his anti-China views by his successor, Ma Ying-jeou, local media said.

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