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July 28, 2017

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5 ex-judges sentenced over graft

The High Court gave five former judges long prison terms yesterday after convicting them of corruption charges in two separate cash-for-acquittal scandals.

Former high court judges Lee Chun-ti, Chen Jung-ho and Tsai Kuang-chih were found guilty of taking bribes from former Miaoli County Magistrate Her Jyh-hui in return for acquitting him of corruption charges, according to the verdict.

Lee, Chen and Tsai received imprisonments of 11 and half years, 18 years and 20 years respectively.

In another case, former High Court Judge Fang Ah-sheng, was found to have taken bribes from another ex-High Court Judge Chang Ping-lung, who was on trial for corruption.

Fang was given 10 and half years, while his co-defendant — former district prosecutor Chiu Mau-jung — also was sentenced to six years in prison for helping arrange the bribery deal and playing a role in the Her case.

According to the verdict, Her had been found guilty of taking bribes from contractors of a county development project during his reign as the Miaoli chief.

Both the district and high courts had given him long sentences before he was acquitted in a retrial presided over by Chen in 2010.

Chen took NT$1.5 million from Her in return for his acquittal. The deal was brokered by Lee, Tsai and Chiu, all of whom received money from the former magistrate.

The magistrate has fled Taiwan and is believed to be hiding in China.

Chen and Tsai denied accepting bribes from Her.

In the other case, Fang confessed to taking NT$2 million from Chang, who had been on trial for accepting bribes from a defendant in 1996.

Fang had been sentenced to 13 years by the district court, but the High Court commuted the imprisonment to 10 and a half years because of his pleading guilty.

A lawyer, Chiu Chuang-shun, and his wife, Tuan Mei-yueh, were sentenced to 18 months and 15 months respectively for arranging the bribery deal between Fang and Chang, according to the verdict.

All defendants in the two cases could still appeal the verdicts.

They were arrested in a major probe by the Special Investigation Division under the Supreme Prosecutors Office to clean the judiciary of corruption.

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