Prosecutors question former first lady

Prosecutors questioned former First Lady Wu Shu-jen at home for two hours yesterday about overseas accounts, while her husband Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said their son would return to Taiwan.
Chen admitted last week that his wife had wired US$20 million to overseas bank accounts registered by their son and daughter-in-law. The admission has touched off a maze of allegations and investigations spreading as far away as Singapore and Switzerland.
Three agents from the Supreme Prosecutors Office Special Investigation Division drove to the luxury apartment building in Taipei where Chen and Wu live.
Chu did not specify what Wu and the prosecutors discussed, but he said her attorney and a nurse were present. Media later reported that Wu had repeated earlier claims that the funds in the overseas accounts were surplus funds from Chen's election campaigns.
Yesterday's visit was the second by prosecutors to Wu since the scandal broke. They also questioned her on August 16.
The former president was not by his wife's side during yesterday's questioning, since he was attending a Rotary Club meeting elsewhere in Taipei at the time.
Chen confirmed to friends at the meeting that the money in the foreign accounts consisted of surplus funds from his election campaigns, the media later heard from a Rotary member, Hsieh Tien-fu. Chen denied the widely spread accusation that money laundering was involved, Hsieh said.
Chen said his son, Chen Chih-chung, would return to Taiwan, but without specifying a time, Hsieh said. Prosecutors on Wednesday issued subpoenas calling on the younger Chen and his wife, Huang Jui-ching, to come in for questioning. The couple have been listed as suspects in the investigation, prosecutors said.
Chen and Huang left Taiwan on August 9, before the scandal broke. He was expected to register for law studies at the University of Virginia, but didn't show up, school officials told reporters.
The former president blamed excessive media attention for forcing his son to postpone his studies by one year, Hsieh said. Taiwanese media have reported sightings of the son on both sides of the United States, while speculating feverishly about which day he might arrive back in Taiwan.
In a related investigation, prosecutors took documents from the home of former Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau chief Yeh Sheng-mao late on Thursday. Yeh has been accused of withholding information about alleged money laundering by the former president.
Yeh has admitted he was negligent with writing official reports, but claimed he did inform State Prosecutor General Chen Tsung-ming about overseas accounts. Chen denies Yeh ever told him.

Updated : 2021-04-14 22:12 GMT+08:00