Ex-Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou was sentenced to four months in jail for leaking details of a criminal investigation while still in office, although the former Kuomintang leader could still avoid jail time by paying a fine or winning on appeal.
Taiwan’s High Court on Tuesday found Ma, 67, guilty of violating the Communication Security and Surveillance Act, according to Lin Ruey-bin, high court division chief judge. Ma had been found not guilty of the charges by a Taipei district court last year, a verdict prosecutors appealed. Ma said he would appeal Tuesday’s decision in a statement released by his office after the verdict.
Ma could also avoid time in jail by paying a NT$120,000 ($4,000) fine, pending approval from prosecutors.
The judge found that Ma had improperly disclosed a wiretapped June 2013 conversation between the former legislative speaker, Wang Jin-pyng, and a Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker who had recently been acquitted of breach-of-trust allegations. Ma, who governed from 2008 to 2016 and championed closer ties with China, became Taiwan’s third consecutive president to face criminal charges after leaving office.