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Taiwan high court to issue verdict on Chen's case on June 11

Taiwan high court to issue verdict on Chen's case on June 11

The Taiwan High Court is scheduled to announce the second verdict on June 11 after summoning several defendants yesterday to testify in the embezzlement case against former president Chen Shui-bian.
The ex-president's alleged embezzlement of the presidential "state affairs fund" is currently in its second round of legal proceedings at the High Court. In the first verdict handed down by the Taipei District Court, judges found Chen and his wife Wu Shu-jen guilty of embezzlement and taking bribes totaling NT$800 million (US$25 million), some of which was laundered overseas through Swiss bank accounts and paper companies.
The defendants summoned to court yesterday included the former first family's bookkeeper Chen Chen-hui, family friend Tsai Ming-chieh, former Hsinchu Science Park director Lee Jie-mu, and businessman Kuo Chuan-ching, a construction tycoon accused of paying bribes to obtain a government contract. They were part of the embezzlement and corruption cases surrounding jailed ex-president Chen and pleaded guilty during the session yesterday morning.
The former bookkeeper Chen said she neither helped collect invoices nor used money from the presidential state affairs fund. She was exempt from criminal punishment by the first verdict, but the judges mandated her and other defendants to pay a fine of NT$100 million (US$3 million) each last September.
The prosecutors yesterday appealed to the High Court to exempt Chen from punishment and the fine.
The former first lady's brother Wu Ching-mao and his wife Chen Chun-ying dropped their appeals against provisional prison sentences and fines for money laundering. They told the High Court of their decision during a session late last month.
Ex-president Chen has been in custody at the Taipei Detention Center in Taipei County since December 30, 2008. The courts extended his period in custody repeatedly despite his promises he would not try and flee the country or influence witnesses and defendants.