Former Taiwan president indicted on corruption charges

[JURIST] Taiwanese prosecutors on Friday indicted former President Chen Shui-bian [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] on charges of corruption. His wife Wu Shu-chen, his son and daughter-in-law, three former presidential aides, and eight other associates and family members were also indicted. Chen has been charged with embezzlement, receiving bribes, forgery, and money laundering. Prosecutors plan to seek the maximum punishment [AFP report] allowed. Chen will continue to receive his retirement benefits [Taiwan News report], despite his indictment.

Chen has been detained since his November arrest [JURIST report] on suspicion of embezzling money from the state affairs fund. While in prison, Chen went on a hunger strike and was taken to the hospital [JURIST reports]. Chen, the former leader of the now-opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) [party website, in Mandarin] who resigned the presidency in May 2008, has maintained his innocence and has said that the investigation is a political attack by members of the ruling Kuomintang Party [party website]. Chen spent eight months in prison twenty-one years ago for defaming Nationalist leaders. In September, he was cleared [JURIST report] on more recent defamation charges. Last week, a Taiwanese court sentenced a former intelligence head [JURIST report] Yeh Sheng-mao to 10 years in prison on corruption charges. Yeh was convicted of corruption, concealing a government file, and leaking confidential information to Chen.



 

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