[JURIST] The Taiwan Taipei District Court [official website] on Thursday sentenced former head of the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau [official website] Yeh Sheng-mao to 10 years in prison on corruption charges. Yeh was convicted [Taipei Times report] of corruption, concealing a government file, and leaking confidential information to former President Chen Shui-bian [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. In addition to the prison sentence, Yeh will also be deprived of civil rights for five years. Lawyers for Yeh plan to appeal [Taiwan News report].
Yeh is the first to be convicted in the many corruption scandals surrounding Chen. Chen was arrested [JURIST report] in November on suspicion of embezzling money from the state affairs fund. Chen, the former leader of the now-opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) [party website, in Mandarin] who resigned the presidency in May 2008, has maintained his innocence and has said that the investigation is a political attack by members of the ruling Kuomintang Party [party website]. Chen spent eight months in prison twenty-one years ago for defaming Nationalist leaders. In September, he was cleared [JURIST report] on more recent defamation charges.