DPP legislator sentenced to 4.5 years for corruption

The High Court on Thursday sentenced ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (???) to four and a half years in jail in a 10-year-old corruption case.

Gao's former assistant Yao Liang-tien (???) was sentenced to 16 months in prison in the same case.

The ruling can be appealed.

Gao is accused of improperly influencing the National Property Administration (NPA) into leasing a piece of non-public land to Taichung-based restaurant operator Dong Feng Ge in return for a bribe from the company.

According to the verdict, Dong Feng Ge approached Yao for help after its application to rent the land was turned down by the NPA's central Taiwan office in 2006.

Gao then lobbied the NPA on behalf of Dong Feng Ge to change its decision, the court found.

After the NPA leased the land to Dong Feng Ge, the company paid Yao NT$2 million (US$62,786), of which NT$500,000 was forwarded to Gao in the guise of a political donation, the verdict said.

In a first trial in July 2009, Gao was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to five and a half years, but was found not guilty in a second trial in January 2011 at the High Court.

Following an appeal by prosecutors, the High Court in June 2013 reversed its verdict and sentenced Gao to seven and a half years.

Thursday's verdict was issued in response to an appeal by Gao.

Commenting on the case, DPP spokesman David Huang (???) said his party respects the judiciary's decision.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel