Taiwan court upholds ex-general Yuan Hsiao-lung’s jail term on graft

Yuan Hsiao-lung was sentenced to 10 years and four months for bribery, blackmail and leaking secrets

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 February, 2014, 3:25pm
UPDATED : Friday, 07 February, 2014, 3:25pm

Taiwan’s supreme court said on Friday it had rejected an appeal for a retired lieutenant-general serving a lengthy prison sentence in a high-profile bribery scandal.

The court said it was upholding its sentencing of 10 years and four months for Yuan Hsiao-lung, the former deputy chief of the logistics command, on convictions of bribery, blackmail and leaking secrets.

Yuan was first convicted by a district court in 2009.

In a final ruling, the court rejected an appeal filed by prosecutor-general Huang Shyh-ming on the grounds that the sentence was too heavy since Yuan had confessed and that he did not make any illegal financial gains.

He was found guilty of seeking promotion by bribing his superiors with the help of a middleman, businessman Lin Chih-chung.

Lin promised to pay T$6 million (HK$1.5 million) to Yuan to persuade his superiors to promote him to the rank of general, in exchange for information on military contract bidding in 2006.

But Lin never actually paid the money and Yuan was not promoted before he retired in 2008.

Lin was found to have won several military contracts with Yuan’s help, who leaked information on tenders.

The case revived rumours that some military officers were promoted to general through bribery during the 2000-2008 rule of former president Chen Shui-bian.

Taiwan has been rocked by a string of corruption scandals involving top officials in recent years, including Chen who is currently serving a 20-year jail term on multiple graft convictions.

Two top politicians from the ruling Kuomintang party known for their close ties with incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou have also been indicted on corruption charges since 2012.