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DPP legislator ordered to pay compensation to former president

2016/12/20 13:35:23

DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康, left) and former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) (CNA file photo)

Taipei, Dec. 20 (CNA) Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) of the Democratic Progressive Party was ordered to pay former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) NT$600,000 (US$18,729) for claiming Ma received illegal political donations and publish an apology on the front page of four national newspapers, the Taiwan High Court ruled on Tuesday.

The verdict was in line with that handed down by the Taipei District Court in February.

Ma filed a lawsuit against TV pundit Chen Min-feng (陳敏鳳) and Tuan after Chen wrote in a digital newspaper in 2014 that several high-tech entrepreneurs made illegal political donations worth NT$200 million to Ma at a luncheon in 2007. Ma won the presidential election the following year and was re-elected in 2012.

In addition, Tuan stated on a TV program and on his Facebook page that L&K Engineering Co. was only allowed to merge with RSEA Engineering Corp., a former state-run enterprise, after donating NT$100 million to Ma.

The former president filed the suits against Chen and Tuan in January 2015, demanding NT$10 million in compensation from each of them.

The Taipei District Court, which handled Tuan's case first, ruled that he did say Ma received political donations as part of a quid pro quo arrangement relating to the merger of L&K Engineering and RSEC Engineering, without presenting any evidence to back up his claim.

In March, the court ruled that Chen was not guilty because she had fulfilled her legal responsibility to investigate and verify her claims. Tuan appealed his guilty verdict to the High Court.

Meanwhile, Ma has appealed Chen's case.

(By Liu Shi-yi, Lilian Wu and Lee Hsin-Yin)