Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday said she is innocent of charges leveled against her for the alleged embezzlement of special allowance funds set aside for discretionary use while in her current post, adding that she believes there were "outside influences" in play regarding the indictment. "My conscience is clear. My indictment must have something to do with 'outside influences.' Why would I pocket NT$30,000 per month when I voluntarily took a monthly salary cut of NT$330,000?" Lu said while fielding questions from local reporters after paying respects to her ancestors in Taoyuan City yesterday morning. Lu was indicted on charges that she asked her staff to collect a total of 1,005 receipts from other sources, which she allegedly used to apply for special allowance funds totaling NT$5.63 million while serving as vice president between December 2000 and May 2006. Lu, Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Yu Shyi-kun (游錫<方方土>), and Secretary-General of the National Security Council (國家安全會議) Mark Chen (陳唐山) were among 11 defendants charged with document forgery and corruption under Articles 216, 210 and 214 of the Criminal Code and the Statute for the Punishment of Corruption, said Chen Yun-nan, spokesman of the task force from the Supreme Prosecutors Office's Special Investigation Bureau. The special task force is assigned to look into graft charges filed against civil servants. DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and vice presidential candidate Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), both of whom are former premiers, were spared indictment on similar special allowance funds corruption charges as there was no evidence that they had misused such funds, he added. Lu noted that one month after she assumed her post as Taiwan's vice president in 2000, both President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and she voluntarily cut their monthly salary from NT$660,000 to NT$330,000. Lu questioned the idea that she would pocket NT$5 million over the seven-year period, considering her total salary cut during that time amounts to more than NT$30 million. She went on to say that prosecutors in northern and southern Taiwan adopt different standards when investigating special allowance funds cases against civil servants, and that there is simply no judiciary justice. Lu stressed her innocence, saying that even if the judiciary system fails, she knows she's done nothing wrong in God's eyes. Lu added that the general public should denounce the judiciary system. Responding to Lu's statement, Prosecutor Hou Kuan-jen yesterday said that the three prosecutors responsible for the case would not deliberately declare someone guilty if they do not find criminal evidence against the person involved. Hou added that there is no so-called "outside influence" involved in Lu's indictment. He noted that all the defendants indicted by the prosecutors, including Lu, Yu and Mark Chen, are allegedly violating reimbursement claim procedures, and that the northern and southern prosecutors adopt the same standard when probing special allowance funds cases.