It was quite revealing that several days before the announcement of the verdict against former-president Chen Shui-bian, current President Ma spoke in multiple ways about how he wanted to be law abiding, and that the ROC was a country with the rule of law, that he respected the law, etc.
One can infer that Ma already knew what the verdict would be, so he was preparing the political spin on it with his statements. It does not take much stretch to conclude that there were a group of KMT elites who colluded with the prosecutors and the judges (after first doing a bit of judge-shopping) to decide politically what they thought would be the best verdict for the KMT and so they as a group decided what verdict to hand down which then the judges announced.
Naturally, anyone in on that group of KMT elites' deliberations would know the verdict ahead of time, and so someone like Ma would then begin talking big about the rule of law -- since the "law" would in a day or two give Chen a life-sentence.
Hopefully, the Taiwanese people will come to realize the necessity of a multiparty democracy and a balance of power. They also must realize that the KMT has not changed at all from its old authoritarian ways; this "Chinese" Nationalist Party, its legislatures and President Ma do not at all value democracy. Whenever they get a chance, they replace true democracy with a sham facade of democracy so that they can keep control in their elitist hands. For Taiwan's future national health, the unrepentant KMT itself perhaps needs to be done away with as the Baathist Party in Iraq whose decades of privilege and loyalty to a dictator gave it a destabilizing and democratically destructive advantage in manipulating elections and shutting down any separate voices. More and more, as the months go by, it seems their ilk and the ROC-in-exile KMT regime ultimately will need to be expelled from Taiwan, because they as an organization have not been able to repent of their past Leninist-Fascist authoritarianism.
Some in the international media are skeptical of the verdict. For example:
Agence France Presse (AFP)
Taiwan News gives a good summary of the situation comparing Ma's acquittal on similar charges with Chen's conviction.
Global Voices Online has some comments by individuals responding to the verdict.