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Ex-lawmaker fails to show up to start prison term

2012/04/24 15:46:04

Taipei, April 24 (CNA) Former independent Legislator Lo Fu-chu failed to report to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office on Tuesday to start serving a four-year prison term, which means he could be put on a wanted list by evening, the office said.

The office said it had received a petition from Lo asking for a reprieve so that he could file an extraordinary appeal, and saying that he had other engagements.

But prosecutors rejected his appeal and issued 22 warrants for his arrest.

Lo has not been seen in public for nearly a month, which could indicate that he is in hiding, prosecutors said, adding that they may list him as wanted and confiscate his NT$10 million (US$339,000) bond.

The statute of limitations will not run out in Lo's case until December 2030, when he will be 87, the prosecutors' office said.

Local newspapers have speculated that Lo fled the country after Tombsweeping Day on April 4 and could be in either mainland China or Australia, where he has a lot of friends and relatives, or in the United States.

Lo, known to be a controversial figure, was imprisoned for more than three years in 1984 for involvement with gangsters and detained in 2002 for four months for stock manipulation.

On March 28 this year, the Supreme Court sentenced him to four years in prison and fined him NT$6 million for stock manipulation, document forgery and money laundering.

(By Liu Shih-yi and Lilian Wu)
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