The charges against Ma for misappropriating special allowances were widely seen as politically-motivated. The court now confirms the practice to treat the special allowances as supplementary income for public office holders. Other politicians especially those from DPP had not been subjected to the same standard with regards to the use of special allowance.
Ma’s innocent verdict means that the future of Taiwan’s politics will be decided by the electorate, and not by the public prosecutors or the judges. Ma who has just apologized for an inappropriate remark on the indigenous people may still loose to DPP candidate Hsieh who has the reputation as the comeback kid.
The people will decide who should be Taiwan’s captain. That’s the good news.
Ma Ying-jeou had always claimed his innocence
An appeal court in Taiwan has acquitted opposition leader Ma Ying-jeou of corruption charges. The ruling clears the way for him to represent the nationalist Kuomintang party in the presidential election due to be held in March.
Mr Ma had resigned as head of the Kuomintang Party following the indictment but denied any wrongdoing.
Prosecutors had been seeking to overturn a lower court ruling which cleared him of embezzlement.
Mr Ma was accused of misappropriating T$11.2m ($339,000) in funds while he was mayor of the capital, Taipei.
His faction of the Kuomintang – which governed Taiwan until 2000 – favours closer ties and more trade with China.
In the election he will face Frank Hsieh of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, which seeks greater independence from the mainland.
Taiwan and China have been ruled by separate governments since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.
Beijing regards Taiwan as part of its territory and believes it should be reunited with the rest of China, if necessary by force. (END)