Hong to appeal Taisugar fraud ruling
By Ann Yu , The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Former Legislator Hong Chi-chang (洪奇昌) announced yesterday that he will file an appeal against a verdict that sentenced him to prison over a fraudulent land deal.
March 15, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
The Taichung District Court charged Hong and former Taisugar Chairman Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁) last month over an illegal business deal which involved the sale of state-owned land by Taisugar at below the market price.
According to the verdict, Wu connected ties with land development firm Chung Lung Co. (春龍開發公司) through Hong, who received substantial sponsorship from the company. The land was sold at a low price, resulting in a loss of NT$200 million for Taisugar.
The verdict also stated that Taisugar land could not be sold, but merely rented out. Wu violated the policy and decided to sell the property through public tendering.
Hong, as well as a former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker, complained that Taiwan's judiciary system is unjust.
Hong opened a press conference yesterday, asserting that policies concerning Taisugar land and rent had been abolished in 2001. He showed the media a statement issued by the Ministry of Economic Affairs concerning the business deal policies for state-owned properties.
He added that Taisugar had already added a policy relating to the purchase and sale of land in 2000. “There is no such thing as a rent-only policy as stated in the verdict. The taxes from selling the land are also listed as part of the government's annual budget,” Hong added.
Presiding judge of the High Court Wu Huo-chuan (吳火川) said that the decision was made after careful judgment and discussion between the collegial panel.
Although former Taisugar Chairman Wu Nai-jen insisted that the decision to sell the land was made through several board of directors, Judge Wu concluded that Wu needed to be held responsible as leader of a state-owned company.
The High Court rejected Wu's appeal on Wednesday over a three-year, 10-month term in prison. Hong, who was also held responsible for the arbitration deal, was sentenced to two years and four months.