Farglory chairman faces 9 years in housing project corruption case

Farglory chairman faces 9 years in housing project corruption case

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Prosecutors recommended that Farglory Land Development Co. Chairman Chao Teng-hsiung be sentenced to nine years in prison for bribery in the Bade Government Housing Project corruption case.

Defence attorneys and the prosecutors made their closing arguments at the trial in Taipei District Court yesterday, Prosecutors indicted Chao for three counts of bribery, with each charge amounting to three years of jail time.

In addition to prison, prosecutors also said Chao should be fined NT$500,000, the highest monetary penalty that can be handed out for bribery charges.

Chao is accused of giving money to former Taoyuan Deputy Magistrate and former Minister of Construction and Planning Yeh Shih-wen as a bribe to secure the Bade Government Housing Project.

Prosecutors suggested a heavy sentence for Yeh yesterday, proposing a total sentence of 61 years and a fine of NT$30 million.

In addition, Farglory's former senior executive Wei Chun-hsiung is not off the hook, despite having retired from the company. Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of two years and six months on three accounts of bribery.

Due to retired college professor Tsai Jen-hui becoming a state witness in the case, prosecutors asked the judge to either pardon her or lighten her sentencing.

Chao, Yeh, Wei and Tsai were indicted back in July 2014 as suspects under the Anti-Corruption Act. Chao was let out on a NT$30 million bail in 2014. Chao pleaded not guilty to the charges. The court said it will announce its verdict at 5 p.m., March 20.

Ko Meeting Details Leaked

In related news, following a snapshot of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je's handwritten note to his subordinate on meeting documents that said "Do not anger me," rumours are afloat that photos of meeting minutes from Ko and Chao's encounter that took place on Jan. 21 are also being passed around in Line chat groups.

According to ETtoday, photos of minutes of meetings between Ko and Chao to renegotiate the Taipei Dome contract started appearing on chat groups opened by political pundits from Jan. 23.

Other than Ko's personal signature, the documents also clearly list all those who were in attendance at the meeting.

Ko's chief of staff Tsai Pi-ju said she took the minutes though she did not release them online. Taipei City Government spokesperson Lin Ho-ming said that meeting minutes are considered "standard documents" that may possibly be published online in the future.

When responding on how to prevent future document leaks, Lin said Ko's team will be following protocols set out by the city government.

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