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Ex-presidential aide given 8-year sentence after bribery retrial
【Society】2013-10-09  22:55:00
Taipei, Oct. 9 (CNA) The Taiwan High Court ruled Wednesday to increase the prison sentence for a former senior presidential aide convicted of taking bribes, overturning a previous sentence of seven months to hand down a much harsher eight years.

After a second retrial, the high court cited evidence that Chen Che-nan accepted NT$6 million (US$204,141) in 2002, when he served as Presidential Office deputy secretary-general. Chen was paid the bribes by Liang Po-hsun, who requested help for ending court cases against him, the court said.

Chen's first conviction of the crime of "fraud involving the abuse of official authority" brought a 12-year sentence, but judges in a retrial substantially reduced his prison term to seven months on lesser charge of simple fraud.

Wednesday's ruling supported the abuse of authority conviction of the court of first trial, but cut the original sentence down to eight years in consideration of the 72-year-old Chen's advanced age.

Judges also noted that after the case came to light, Chen resigned from his position and returned the bribe money in full to Liang via a friend.

Chen was meanwhile acquitted on charges of insider trading in shares of Yieh Lien Steel and Yieh Loong Steel due to a lack of evidence.

The case can be appealed in the Supreme Court.

Chen Che-nan served in his position from 2000 to 2004 under then-President Chen Shui-bian (no relation).

(By Liu Shi-yi and Y.L. Kao)
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