He was sentenced to life in prison and fined $6.2m after nearly three years of acrimonious, high-profile court proceedings that involved his wife, son and numerous aides.

Chen's lawyer said his client, who has been held in a suburban Taipei jail for the past 17 months, "was not pleased by the ruling and believes he should have been acquitted".

"But he also believes he has a good chance on the next appeal so he was not particularly upset," Shih Yi-lin said.

Chen is expected to appeal to the supreme court next to overturn the verdict entirely.