A former legislator who was set to begin serving a jail term after being convicted of raping a Filipino maid got a reprieve Wednesday when prosecutors agreed that his health be checked before he was incarcerated.
Elmer Fung (???), a former legislator of the New Party, was supposed to report to the Shilin District Prosecutors Office on Wednesday to begin serving a jail sentence of three years and four months.
But Fung, accompanied by his lawyer, requested the previous day that the execution of his sentence be delayed because Fung is suffering from a serious illness.
After receiving the request, the Shilin District Prosecutors Office said it will not put Fung in jail before an assessment of his health is completed.
Chief Prosecutor Chen Hsi-chu (???) said that if something were to happen while Fung was being transported to the prison or while he was serving time there, the consequences would be serious.
Asked about Fung's illness and why it was serious enough to keep him from serving his sentence, at least for now, Chen said that it was not convenient for him to disclose Fung's illness out of privacy concerns.
Fung issued a statement on Oct. 7 in which he maintained his innocence and claimed that he suffered from a "cerebral stroke" that could turn into a "malignant tumor" at any time and endanger his life.
The case dates back to Jan. 23, 2004, when Fung raped the woman at his home in Taipei when his family members were out. The victim contacted a friend, who informed the Manila Economic and cultural Office in Taipei of the abuse.
An employee from the office accompanied her to a local hospital for treatment, and the hospital reported the rape to the police.
The woman returned to the Philippines after signing a settlement agreement with the lawmaker and receiving NT$800,000 (US$25,432) in the settlement.
In the first and second trials and the first retrial of the case, Fung was found guilty of rape and sentenced to four years in prison.
In a second retrial, he was sentenced to a year in jail on charges of taking advantage of his status to have sexual intercourse with another person, but the prison term was reduced to six months, with the sentence able to be converted into a fine.
In the third and fourth retrials, Fung was found not guilty after the victim recanted her original statement to police and denied she had been raped by Fung.
However, Fung was again found guilty of rape at a fifth retrial and sentenced to four years in prison.
In the sixth retrial, the Taiwan High Court found Fung guilty and sentenced him to three years and four months in prison.
The Supreme Court upheld the high court's ruling on Oct. 7.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel