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Ex-president indicted for money laundering (update)

Ex-president indicted for money laundering (update)

Taipei, Jan. 23 (CNA) Former President Chen Shui-bian (???) was indicted on money laundering charges Friday, less than three weeks after being released on medical parole from a prison where he was already serving a lengthy sentence for corruption. In its indictment, the Taipei District Prosecutors Office alleged that after Chen took a bribe of NT$10 million (US$319,000) from Diana Chen (???) to help her become chairwoman of the company that runs the landmark Taipei 101 skyscraper, the president was involved in laundering the money. Chen Shui-bian was found guilty of taking the bribe by the Supreme Court in November 2010 and was sentenced to eight years in prison. His wife, Wu Shu-chen (???), was also given a similar penalty for the same offense. Wu was then found guilty laundering the bribe through her brother, and was sentenced to 14 months in jail, later reduced to seven months. Because of Wu's role in laundering the money, the judge in charge of her case suspected Chen Shui-bian also was involved as Wu's accomplice, and sent the case to prosecutors for further investigation. The Taipei District Prosecutors Office has since questioned Chen Shui-bian about the allegations and asked prosecutors in Kaohsiung to further question Wu. Prosecutors in Kaohsiung subpoenaed Wu twice, but the wheelchair-bound former first lady did not show up either time because of her poor health condition. Taipei prosecutors said it had solid evidence proving Chen's involvement in the case, but as of Friday afternoon, they had not released the indictment or provided a summary outlining the evidence backing their case. Chen Shui-bian is also still facing legal proceedings related to a reform program to consolidate the financial sector initiated during his first term as president from 2000 to 2004. Several bankers allegedly bribed the former first family in exchange for Chen Shui-bian's help in acquiring other banks. The former president has already been sentenced to a total of 20 years in prison and fined NT$250 million in a series of corruption cases that surfaced shortly after his second term ended in May 2008. He began serving his sentence on Nov. 11, 2010, but he had been detained for nearly two years prior to that while prosecutors were investigating and prosecuting the cases. The former first lady was ruled physically unfit to go to jail. Chen was released from Taichung Prison on Jan. 5 on medical parole after being diagnosed as suffering from multiple ailments that doctors felt would be better treated outside of prison. (By Tsai Pei-chi and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-09-23 20:31 GMT+08:00