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Former lawmaker expects parole this summer

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Taichung prison yesterday approved former lawmaker Yen Ching-piao's (顏清標) application for parole, with a possible date set for July should the approval be finalized

Yen was imprisoned on Feb. 19, 2013 after being found guilty of misusing public funds while serving as Taichung County Legislator in 1999. The funds were spent at questionable venues with then-Taichung Council Speaker Chang Ching-tang (張清堂). Both were sentenced to three years and six months of prison, as well as a suspension of civil liberties for three years. Chang was paroled in March of this year.

Following the ruling, the High Court went on to prosecute Yen on other charges, including repudiation of payment, concealment and replacement of a wanted suspect and violating the Act Governing the Control and Prohibition of Guns, Cannon, Ammunition, and Knives. The combined charges made for a sentence of seven years in prison.

Initially, Yen criticized the court's verdict, saying the law was especially strictly enforced in his case. However, he later said he would serve his sentence starting on Feb. 19 last year.

The Taichung Prison stated that in the one year and three months of Yen's incarceration, he has displayed favorable behavior and has accumulated points for parole. Along with deductions from newly implemented regulations as well as time served, Yen has passed the threshold to be eligible for a parole application.

After being approved by the Taichung Prison Parole Council yesterday, Yen's application has been sent to the Agency of Corrections for further review. Should the agency approve Yen's parole as well, the former legislator will be released from prison around July after two to three weeks of processing.

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