[JURIST] Taiwanese Vice President Annette Lu [official profile] pleaded not guilty Monday as her trial on corruption and forgery charges began in Taipei. The charges [JURIST report] against Lu stem from allegations that she claimed 5.6 million Taiwan dollars in special expenses using more than 1,000 false receipts from December 2000 to May 2006 in her capacity as vice president. After Monday's court session, Lu complained about the "double standard" she believes prosecutors used when indicting her; she maintains the judicial system "remains divided" on how expenses of public officials should be handled.
Lu's trial is the latest in a string of high-profile corruption cases that have dominated Taiwanese politics in recent months. The trials of the two public officials who were indicted with Lu, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) [party website] Chairman Yu Shyi-kun and former foreign minister Chen Tan-sun, are yet to be scheduled. Former Taiwanese opposition party leader Ma Ying-jeou [personal website, in Chinese] was acquitted [JURIST report] of corruption and accounting fraud charges by the Taipei District Court in August. The highest-profile allegations of emerged in August against Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian [official website; BBC profile] and several relatives. In June, a high court affirmed the conviction [JURIST report] of Chen's son-in-law on insider trading charges. Chen's wife, Wu Shu-chen, was indicted [JURIST report] last year for embezzlement and falsifying documents. Prosecutors have indicated that they have enough evidence to also indict Chen, but Chen enjoys Article 52 [text] constitutional immunity from most criminal charges while he remains in office. AP has more. The China Post has local coverage.