Ma wins NT$1.8 million in defamation suit against TV pundit

2018/01/09 21:46:27 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 9 (CNA) TV pundit Clara Chou (周玉蔻) has been ordered to pay compensation of NT$1.8 million (US$60,790) to former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in a defamation lawsuit ruling that was handed down by the Taiwan High Court on Tuesday.

Ma, who completed his second and final term as president in May 2016, was gratified to hear the decision, according to his spokeswoman Hsu Chiao-hsin (徐巧芯).

In December 2014, Ma sued Chou at Taipei District Court for saying that he had accepted NT$200 million in political donations from the Ting Hsin International Group, which at the time was embroiled in a string of food safety scandals in Taiwan.

Ma filed a criminal suit against Chou on charges of aggravated libel and also brought a civil suit against her, demanding NT$10 million in compensation and an open apology published in major Taiwanese newspapers.

In December 2015, the district court ruled in favor of Chou in the civil case, saying she was not guilty of the charge and that she did not have to pay Ma any compensation.

The former president then appealed the verdict in Taiwan High Court, which ruled Tuesday that Chou must pay compensation of NT$1.8 million and publish an official apology to Ma.

In a Facebook post later in that day, Chou said the ruling was unjust and that she would file an appeal with Supreme Court.

Last April, Chou was sentenced to 50 days detention in the criminal lawsuit, with no further avenues of appeal.

(By Hsiao Po-wen and Ko Lin)

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