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Former president has to stay behind bars for 17.5 years: court

2010/12/06 13:23:56

Taipei, Dec. 6 (CNA) In a High Court ruling Monday, it wasdecided that former President Chen Shui-bian's prison term shouldamount to 17 and a half years.

In addition, the court has determined that the fines on Chen, whohas been convicted and jailed on corruption charges in two separatecases, would total NT$154 million (US$5.05 million).

On Nov. 11, the Supreme Court sentenced the former president to11 years in prison for taking bribes in a land deal during his timein office and also gave Chen an eight-year sentence in anotherbribery case. The rulings were the first final convictions in astring of corruption cases implicating Chen and his wife.

According to the current law, the Taiwan High Court is authorizedto determine whether the combined 19-year sentence should be servedconcurrently or consecutively.

After careful review, a collegial panel at the high court ruledthat Chen's total prison time should be 17 and a half years, a courtspokesman said.

Chen, the first president from the opposition DemocraticProgressive Party, began serving his prison sentence at a jail inTaoyuan County Dec. 2, making history as Taiwan's first former headof state to be jailed.

His wife Wu Shu-jen has also been given a combined 19-yearsentence in the same two bribery cases. Judicial authorities willdecide later today how and where the wheelchair-bound former firstlady should serve her time.

(By Lai Yu-chia and Sofia Wu)
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