Taiwan's court strips Chen's son of position

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 19 August, 2011, 12:00am


The son of Taiwan's jailed former president, Chen Shui-bian, has been stripped of his position as a city councillor in Kaohsiung after being sentenced on Wednesday to three months in prison for perjury.

Chen Chih-chung, 32, said yesterday he was the victim of political purging, claiming the verdict 'was a pre-written script and a pre-arranged conspiracy' to strip him of his job.

He said he should have been allowed to retain his position as he was legally entitled to do community service in lieu of the jail term, but the cabinet immediately turned down his application, a decision he called politically motivated.

The island's Supreme Court said in its verdict against Chen that they could not suspend the sentence because of his alleged involvement in a money-laundering case related to his mother, Wu Shu-chen.

He will be tried on related charges later.

Some pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party members and supporters questioned why Chen's sentence was not allowed to be suspended or commuted to fines, either of which would have allowed him to keep his post.

Huang Li-hsin, director of the island's Department of Civil Affairs under the Ministry of the Interior, said Chen could appeal to keep his councillor position, but there was no precedent of local government councillors being successful in such appeals.

She said there were many examples of city or county councillors being removed from their posts, citing examples of one in New Taipei city and another in Tainan city.

The court on Wednesday also handed a nine-month jail sentence to Wu for instructing her children to lie under oath. The former first lady's daughter, Chen Hsing-yu, and her husband Chao Chien-ming each received a three-month sentence on the same day.