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Ex-Kinmen magistrate gets 90 months for accepting NT$1 million bribe

06/13/2024 05:48 PM
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Former Kinmen Magistrate Lee Wo-shih. CNA file photo
Former Kinmen Magistrate Lee Wo-shih. CNA file photo

Taipei, June 13 (CNA) Ex-Kinmen Magistrate Lee Wo-shih (李沃士) has been sentenced to 90 months in prison for accepting a NT$1 million (US$30,918) bribe from a prospective tenderer.

The May 29 ruling by the Fuchien High Court Kinmen Branch Court also stripped Lee of his civil rights for five years and confiscated all illegally obtained funds from the former Kuomintang politician.

Lee, who served as county magistrate from 2010 to 2014, was first convicted of violations of the Anti-Corruption Act in 2017 by the Fuchien Kinmen District Court.

The district court found that Lee had accepted a bribe from a tech company chair surnamed Hsu (徐) during his campaign for county magistrate.

Lee then pressured the Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor Inc. (KKL) to lower the price of their liquor base to pave the way for Hsu's tender for a high-end baijiu sales project, according to the district court.

Lee acted for the benefit of Hsu after receiving his campaign support, such as selecting a general manager and sales manager for KKL that Hsu had preferred, the district court concluded, before handing the former county magistrate an eight-year prison sentence.

However, an appellate ruling by the Fuchien High Court Kinmen Branch in 2021 quashed Lee's conviction, finding that with only Hsu's inconsistent accounts and no other witnesses, there was insufficient evidence to find Lee guilty.

Prosecutors appealed the high court's ruling to the Supreme Court, which remanded it back to the High Court Kinmen Branch.

Following a reconsideration of the available evidence, a second trial by the high court found Lee guilty of corruption.

The ruling can be appealed.

(By Hung Hsueh-kuang and Wu Kuan-hsien)

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