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Former president says son to return to face probe

Former president says son to return to face probe

Former President Chen Shui-bian said Friday that his son will return to Taiwan to face a probe into suspected money-laundering by members of the former first family, but he didn't say when.
The former president made the remarks during a lunch meeting with Rotary members Friday, according to Hsieh Tien-fu, a Rotary of Taipei Northgate member.
Chen addressed the Rotary members for about 10 minutes. He seemed to be in a serene mood and "didn't go to extra lengths to defend himself," according to Hsieh.
The former president was quoted as having told Rotary members that he has been "stingy" in the use of money and managed to accumulate some money in every election.
Hsieh quoted Chen as saying that he "has contributed to individual candidates and the Democratic Progressive Party in every election, " and that his "contributions to the party have exceeded NT$300 million."
Hsieh said that Chen thinks a political figure should not have to explain details about contributions to the party or candidates.
Prosecutors went to the former president's residence in the posh Hsinyi district again Friday, to ask the former first lady Wu Shu-jen about the source and flow of sums of US$21 million stashed in overseas bank accounts by members of Chen's family.
The former president and his wife, as well as Wu's older brother Wu Ching-mao, Chen's son Chen Chih-chung and his daughter-in-law Huang Jui-ching, have been listed as suspects by prosecutors in the alleged money-laundering case. Chen Shui-bian, Wu Hsu-jen and Wu Ching-mao have also been barred from leaving the country.
Chen Chih-chung, along with his wife, left for the United States Aug. 9 to pursue advanced studies. But he failed to attend the compulsory orientation at the University of Virginia School of Law and his whereabouts are unknown.
The Special Investigation Division under the Supreme Prosecutors Office, in charge of the probe into the suspected money-laundering case, confirmed Friday that it has issued subpoenas to Chen Chih-chung and Huang Jui-ching, requesting them to appear before the prosecutors.
During a search of Chen Shui-bian's residence last Saturday, prosecutors advised the former president to persuade his son to return to Taiwan to clear up doubts about the suspected money-laundering.
Taiwan has received a positive response to its requests for judicial assistance from Switzerland and Singapore in the investigation of the case of suspected money laundering by members of the former first family.
A local magazine, based on a report by the international anti-money laundering organization the Egmont Group, claimed last week that Huang Jui-ching had laundered money for the former first family by secretly wiring NT$300 million overseas in 2006, after the exposure of a "state affairs fund" embezzlement case that implicated Chen Shui-bian and his wife.
The report allegedly detailed the status of bank accounts created by members of Chen Shui-bian's family in other countries, including the United States, the Cayman Islands, Singapore and Switzerland.
The former president was forced to admit Aug. 14 that he did not fully account for election campaign expenses during his two mayoral elections and two presidential elections between 1993 and 2004, but claimed that he was unaware, until early this year, that the surplus funds had been wired abroad by his wife.
Chen Shui-bian rejected allegations that the funds wired overseas could be connected to the "state affairs funds" embezzlement case and a botched attempt by the Taiwan government to win Papua New Guinea as a diplomatic ally.
Wu Shu-jen stressed last Saturday that all the money deposited overseas had been obtained legally from four sources -- surplus campaign funds, Chen Shui-bian's practice as a lawyer before he went into politics, her own dowry and her investments.


Updated : 2021-02-27 15:31 GMT+08:00