The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland has ruled the decision to return the illegal proceeds to Taiwan at the amount of US$6,746,840 (equivalent to approximately NT$200 million), acquired by the former ROC President Mr. Chen Shui-bian as bribes from the merging case of Yuanta with Fuhua during the Second Financial Reform Case and remitted to Switzerland. Below is the statement given by Supreme Prosecutors Office:
1. The Special Investigation Division (hereinafter referred to as SID) of Supreme Prosecutors Office, in charge of the investigation of the corruption and money laundering case involving former President Chen Shu-bian and his family members including Wu Shu-chen, Chen Chih-chung, and Huang Jui-ching, initiated the requests dated September 22, 2008 and December 5, 2008 respectively for mutual legal assistance to the Swiss judicial authorities to return the illegal proceeds remitted to Switzerland by the Chen family. With the assistance of the Swiss judicial authorities, the bank accounts held by Chen Chih-chung and Huang Jui-ching at Bounchon of Merrill Lynch Bank (Suisse) SA and Galahad Management of RBS Coutts Bank AG, and the accounts of Avallo Ltd. and Bravo International Holdings, two companies controlled by Chen Chih-chung and Huang Jui-ching at Wegelin and Co. and Private Bankers, were frozen accordingly.
2. Among the said accounts, the two accounts of Bouchon and Galahad held the illegal proceeds acquired from the Lungtan Corruption Case, the Nangang Corruption Case, the State Affairs Confidential Funds Case, and their relevant money laundering cases, totaled as approximately US$22,614,850 (equivalent to approximately NT$689,865,993 million calculated according to the foreign exchange rate on November 6, 2014, the “Overseas Seven Hundred Million” referred to by the media). After negotiations with the SID, Chen Chih-chung and Huang Jui-ching signed the authorization letters in March, 2010 to remit the money to the designated account appointed by the SID voluntarily. In May 2010, the SID continuously received the money remitted from Merrill Lynch Bank (Suisse) SA and RBS Coutts Bank AG.
3. As to the assets held in the accounts of Avallo and Bravo at Swiss Wegelin and Co., Private Bankers, the former account valued at US$321, 325 while the latter US$ 1,669,487 (both calculated according to the market prices on January 10,2013). These two accounts held the illegal proceeds acquired from the Second Financial Reform Case (including the Merging Case of regarding Yuanta with Fuhwa, hereinafter referred to as “the Merging Case of Yuanta with Fuhwa”) and its relevant money laundering cases. The Merging Case of Yuanta with Fuhwa was finalized by Supreme Court on December 20, 2012. In the final judgment Chen Shui-Bian was sentenced to the imprisonment of ten years, in addition thereto, being fined 100 million New Taiwan dollars. Wu Shu-Jen was sentenced to the imprisonment of eight years, in addition thereto, being fined 80 million New Taiwan dollars. For the proceeds of crime, Chen Shui-Bian and Wu Shu-Jen have the joint liability of restitution and confiscation for 200 million New Taiwan dollars. Chen Chi-chung and Huang Jui-ching, however, still refused to remit the illegal proceeds back to Taiwan. The SID therefore prepared the document required, along with the translation of the said final judgment rendered by Supreme Court, and filed the mutual legal assistance request to Swiss judicial authorities on September 5, 2013 via the Department of International and Cross-strait Legal Affairs of Ministry of Justice. This request, based on the final judgment aforementioned, asked for the liquidation of the assets held in the frozen Avallo and Bravo accounts and the remittance to the account of SID. Prosecutors of the SID also visited Switzerland twice in October 2013 and December 2014 respectively to communicate with Swiss federal prosecutors and the officials of the Federal Office of Justice on issues related to mutual legal assistance.
4. On April 1, 2014, Federal Prosecutors Office of Swiss granted its order to remit the assets under Avallo and Bravo accounts at the amount of US$6,746,840 (approximately equivalent to NT$200 million) to the designated account of the SID. But Chen Chih-chung et al. appealed to Swiss Federal Criminal Court, which in January 2015 ruled out the objection appeal. Chen Chih-chung et al, then appealed to the Supreme Court of Switzerland. On April 28, 2015, the SID received the notification from Federal Prosecutors Office stating that the Supreme Court of Switzerland has dismissed the appeal of Chen and the assets of US$ 6,746,840 will be remitted to the designated account of the SID accordingly. The remaining assets under Avallo and Bravo accounts should be continuously frozen awaiting the further requests from Taiwan.
5. The SID will continue the following procedures and stay in close contact with Swiss federal prosecutors and Federal Office of Justice for the liquidation of the assets and the remittance thereof to Taiwan.