Prosecutors launched raids against 17 homes and offices across Taiwan yesterday in an investigation into a major case of stock price manipulation.
The raids started early in the morning but were kept quiet because they might affect the stock prices of three listed companies, said Chen Yun-nan, the spokesman for the Special Investigation Division of the Supreme Prosecutors Office.
The investigators raided locations in Taipei City, Taipei County, Taoyuan, Hsinchu City, Chiayi City and County, Chen said.
The suspected case of stock manipulation "involved hundreds of millions of New Taiwan dollars," Chen told reporters.
Because the SID was coordinating the action, there was initial speculation that the searches were part of the investigation into ex-President Chen Shui-bian's cases of alleged corruption and money laundering, but the prosecutors' spokesman strongly denied any links.
After Chen and 13 close relatives and former associates were indicted on Dec. 12, the SID has been continuing its investigation into alleged illegal payments by financial holdings to his family.
The ex-President's attorneys filed a request with the Taipei District Court yesterday for next week's start of his trial to be postponed, preferably by one month.
Attorney Shih Yi-lin said there was no time to read all the relevant documents, so they applied with the Taipei District Court for the Jan. 19 trial opening to be postponed by one month. Shih also complained that attorneys were only allowed to spend 30 minutes per day discussing the case with their client.