[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Taiwan [official website] Thursday upheld a December 2007 ruling [JURIST report] by the Taiwan High Court acquitting Taiwanese President-elect Ma Ying-jeou [personal website, in Chinese] on graft charges. Prosecutors had filed an appeal [JURIST report] of the High Court decision, asking the Supreme Court to clarify the legality of the Taiwanese system that allows high-ranking public officials access to special funds. Ma had denied wrong-doing [JURIST report], arguing that the practice was legitimate because he used the money to fund municipal events and pay city employees.
In August 2007, Ma was acquitted by the lower court on charges [JURIST reports] that he diverted $333,000 of public money into his private back account. Prosecutors appealed the verdict and brought an additional breach of trust charge against Ma, but were unsuccessful in both efforts. Ma is due to take office next month. AFP has more.