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Ex-president says money-laundering chares politically motivated

Ex-president says money-laundering chares politically motivated

Former President Chen Shui-bian said Friday that the money-laundering allegations against him are politically motivated and that he did not privately pocket any money.
Chen admitted Aug. 14 that his wife had wired abroad an unspecified amount of money that he had received as campaign contributions during his four bids for election to public office in the period from 1993 to 2004.
However, he said in a statement Friday that although his wife Wu Shui-jen had wired the money without informing him in advance, she later told him that the money was neither for their personal use, nor for that of their offspring.
According to Wu, the funds transferred abroad were slated to be used by Chen to promote Taiwan's diplomatic and public affairs after he left the office on May 20 this year, the former president said.
Chen stated that his wife's methods may have been wrong, but not her motives.
Chen argued that he did not need to "launder the money" because "the money was clean."
He accused the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) of seeking to penalize him over the years because it thinks he "usurped" its right to the country. The KMT governed Taiwan for nearly 50 years prior to 2000when Chen and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won the presidential election for the first time.
Chen said many people in Taiwan could not accept that he had won a second term in 2004 and they attempted to use many scandals to get him out of office.
Over the past eight years, he said, he provided funds to the DPP and its nominees when they needed money for election campaigns.
He recalled that he donated a total of NT$340 million (US$10.8 million) to the DPP in the 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns.
He said that he and other politicians had all failed to truthfully report their election funds to the government.
For example, Chen's predecessor Lee Teng-hui once admitted that he spent NT$2.5 billion for the 1996 presidential election, but reported only NT$290 million. Former KMT Chairman Lien Chan and current President Ma Ying-jeou of the KMT also incorrectly reported their campaign funds, he charged.