Court rules in favor of Gou in defamation suit
Political pundit Chou ordered to pay NT$2 mil. in damages
The Taiwan Taipei District Court ruled in favor of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Chairman Terry Gou ( ) yesterday in his defamation suit against political commentator Clara Chou ( ), ordering her to pay NT$2 million in damages and submit a written public apology.
Chou released a statement on Facebook stating that she intends to appeal the ruling. Gou had originally sought NT$10 million in damages.
In a January lawsuit filed by Gou against Chou for defamation, the business tycoon accused the political pundit of falsely identifying him as the donor of NT$300 million to then Kuomintang (KMT) candidate for Taipei City mayor Sean Lin ( ). Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je ( ), who ran against Lin, stated in a television talk show that an entrepreneur had given his opponent a sizeable donation of NT$300 million. Chou stated later that Gou was the entrepreneur Ko was referring to.
In its ruling, the court stated that Chou did not provide sufficient evidence to prove that the large donation was from Gou, and that she did not corroborate the accounts of the Hon Hai chairman or that of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Ker Chien-ming ( ).
In falsely accusing Gou of violating the Political Donations Act, the court ruled that Chou had damaged Gou’s social reputation and ordered her to pay NT$2 million in damages. A printed statement of apology was also to be published in major local newspapers.
In a previous statement, Ko said he had asked Ker to seek Gou’s support during the election campaign, and that the lawmaker had said “Gou supports the opponent and has given NT$300 million and does not want to switch sides.” Ker later stated that Ko had misspoken, and that his intention was to state that Gou had already donated the said amount to former Mayor Hau Lung-bin ( ) to construct the Taiwan Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.
Chou Will Appeal
In response to the ruling, Chou said she respected the judges’ ruling, has confidence in the judiciary and will appeal the case “to the very end.” She added that her legal team will be taking the next appropriate actions.
She is currently embroiled in four other high-profile defamation suits. Late last year she accused three advisors of President Ma Yingjeou, including former presidential spokesman Lo Chih-chiang ( ) of receiving under-the-table donations from oil manufacturer Ting Hsin International Group (
). Lo and other advisors have since filed three separate defamation suits against Chou at the Taipei District Prosecutors Office. Chou is also the target of another suit for publicly accusing KMT presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu ( ) of falsifying credentials relating to her master’s degree.
In response, Chou stated on Aug. 13 that her accusers are wasting legal resources.