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Taiwan's president asks constitutional court to stop wife's embezzlement trial

Taiwan's president asks constitutional court to stop wife's embezzlement trial

Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian asked the island's top constitutional body on Thursday to stop his wife's embezzlement trial because it would lead to the publication of state secrets, the Presidential Office said.
At the start of the trial on Dec. 15, first lady Wu Shu-chen pleaded not guilty to charges that she and three presidential aides skimmed 14.8 million New Taiwan dollars (US$450,000; euro350,000) from a special presidential fund used to promote the island's diplomacy abroad.
On Thursday, presidential Vice Secretary General Cho Jung-tai filed a request on Chen's behalf with the Council of Grand Justices to stop the trial, saying it infringed on the president's right to protect classified information.
The case "will cause irreparable damage by leaking state secrets," the Presidential Office said in a statement.
Cho asked for Chen's request to be handled quickly, but it was not known when the Council of Grand Justices would rule on the issue.
When Wu was indicted on Nov. 3, prosecutors said the president could also face trial on embezzlement charges when his immunity lapses after he leaves office in May next year.
Chen has maintained his innocence, but has pledged to resign if his wife is convicted on the embezzlement charges.
The opposition said Thursday that Chen's request was a ploy to avoid having to step down.


Updated : 2021-04-19 20:06 GMT+08:00