Former Taiwan leader Chen back in jail on corruption charge
Former Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian was back in prison on corruption charges following a verdict by the Taipei District Court. The court delivered its verdict Tuesday morning after a 12-hour of hearing.
Mr. Chen and his wife were charged with embezzling 104 million New Taiwan dollars (3.15 million U.S. dollars) in public funds and accepting bribes of about 9 million U.S. dollars in a land purchase deal.
The Taipei District Court was the scene of intense exchanges yesterday between former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), his attorneys and prosecutors during a hearing to decide whether Chen would be detained ahead of his trial on corruption charges, but no decision had been made at press time.
Chen’s lawyers asked that the three judges not review an earlier decision made by a different panel of judges in the same court.
New Presiding Judge Tsai Shou-hsun (蔡守訓) was chosen to replace previous judge Chou Chan-chun (周占春), who had released Chen without bail, in a ballot by judges on Thursday night — a move that pan-green figures said was the result of political pressure.
Tsai asked Chen: “You do not admit to the prosecutors’ charges against you, is that correct?”
Chen said: “No,” adding, “I am innocent of the corruption prosecutors have charged me with, and I can’t accept such humiliation and the destruction of my dignity.”
Chen told Tsai: “You found [President] Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) not guilty in the misuse of his special allowance during his time as Taipei mayor, therefore I am also innocent and should not have been indicted for misuse of the state affairs fund.”
Prosecutor Chou Shih-yu (周士瑜) then detailed why prosecutors considered it necessary to keep Chen in custody.
“We seized documents from the Ministry of National Defense and National Security Bureau relating to cases against Chen, from his residence, that proved Chen has been working hard to collect information related to his case.