Former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou attends an event in Taipei, Taiwan May 15, 2018 [Tyrone Siu/Reuters]
Ma Ying-jeou, a former Taiwanese president, has been sentenced to four months in jail after being found guilty of leaking classified information when he was in office in 2013, according to Taiwan News website.
The country’s high court said on Tuesday that Ma is liable for damaging the “character and rights” of Ker Chien-ming when he leaked confidential information on the opposition lawyer.
It said that Ma, 67, violated the Communication Security and Surveillance Act.
The decision overturned a Taipei district court ruling in August clearing Ma of wrongdoing.
Ma could still avoid jail time by appealing the sentence, or paying a fine of NT$120,000 Taiwanese dollar equivalent to US$4,000.
In a statement released by his office following the verdict, Ma said he will appeal the sentence.
The charges against Ma stemmed from a 2013 lawsuit brought by Ker, who sought charges against the then-president of leaking information taken from a tapped conversation, in which Wang Jin-pyng, a powerful Nationalist Party legislator, pressed judicial officials to acquit Ker in a separate case.
Ma accused Wang of pressuring prosecutors not to appeal against the acquittal of Ker, who sought charges against the ex-president of leaking confidential information.
Ma served as the 18th president of Taiwan from 2008 to 2016, and he became Taiwan‘s third consecutive president to face criminal charges after his presidency.
During his tenure, he focused on improving relations with China.
When he stepped down from his position in 2016, he was very unpopular after eight years of poor economic performance, scandals and accusations of selling out to China, New York Times reported.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies