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Taiwan ex-president Chen in custody denies eyeing a comeback

Former President Chen Shui-bian.
(file photo)
Taipei District Court is scheduled to open court next week for state affairs funds case and other cases involving former President Chen Shui-bian. Che...

Former President Chen Shui-bian. (file photo)

Taipei District Court is scheduled to open court next week for state affairs funds case and other cases involving former President Chen Shui-bian. Che...

Taiwan's former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who is in custody pending trial on corruption charges, on Wednesday denied a report that he was seeking to run for office again in 2012.

The island's weekly news magazine Next had reported that Chen saw his inmate number, "2630", as a sign that he could serve a third term as president, quoting the manuscript of a book the former leader has written.

It said Chen saw the number two as meaning he should run again, six as heralding good fortune and three as indicating the number of terms he would serve, the magazine said.

It said Chen wrote that he "dreamed about being chosen to run for president" in a 250-page book he has written when he was kept in custody detailing his experiences in prison.

But Chen's spokesman Chiang Chih-ming (江志銘) said the former leader "has said in interviews and to his supporters that... he served two terms as president and has no intention to run again".

The ex-leader has been keeping a journal in the detention center and his new book is due to publish it next week, his office said.

Chen was initially locked up for a month after his November arrest on embezzlement and money laundering allegations.

He was later released without bail on Dec. 13 following an indictment against him and his family on corruption and money laundering charges the previous day and spent two weeks at liberty before a court decided to take him back into custody late last month. Chen faces life in prison if convicted of the charges.

The pro-independence Chen insists the charges are politically motivated and accuses President Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) Beijing-friendly government of leading a witch-hunt.


Updated : 2021-04-23 06:57 GMT+08:00