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May 23, 2017

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Ex-military intelligence head loses graft appeal

TAIPEI -- A former military intelligence chief lost an appeal against a guilty verdict for embezzlement Friday when the Supreme Court upheld a ruling that sentenced him to 2-and-a-half years in prison.

Ke Guang-ming (葛廣明), who served as head of the Military Intelligence Bureau between March 2008 and October 2009, was indicted in May 2010 for taking possession of NT$3.75 million (US$123,774) under a Ministry of National Defense special project.

He used NT$450,000 of the fund to pay the families of deceased bureau staff members, Chinese New Year bonuses for retired staff and schools in northern Thailand, and later instructed his staff to bring the remaining NT$3.25 million to his home when he was appointed to an another post at the ministry.

A military court found Ke guilty of embezzlement and sentenced him to 14 years in prison with his right to run for public office and become a civil servant suspended for six years in August 2010.

The sentence was reduced to 2 and a half years during the third retrial of his case by the Taiwan High Court, on the grounds that the money was not used for personal purposes and that the remainder of the money was returned, the Supreme Court said in its decision Friday.

The period of deprivation of his citizen's rights was also cut to one year by the Taiwan High Court, according to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court's decision make the ruling final and cannot be appealed.

Ke has been suspended from his government post since February 2010 and was impeached in January 2011.

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