[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Taiwan's Chen facing new charges
Prosecutors allege former president took $8.8m in bribes from local banker.
Last Modified: 05 May 2009 16:47 GMT
Prosecutors allege Chen took bribes disguised
as political donations [AFP]

Chen Shui-bian, Taiwan's former president currently on trial for corruption, is facing fresh graft charges.

Taiwanese prosecutors issued an indictment on Tuesday alleging Chen had taken $8.8m in bribes, as the former leader's high-profile trial continued into its second month.

Prosecutors allege Chen and his wife, Wu Shu-chen, took bribes disguised as political donations or funds to promote Taiwanese interests overseas, from a local banker.

Jeffrey Koo Jr, then vice chairman of Chinatrust Financial Holding, paid the sum in seven instalments from 2002 to 2005, Chen Yun-nan, the prosecutor, said.

Prosecutors had been looking into charges that Koo paid the bribes in exchange for Chen Shui-bian's help in a plan by Chinatrust to merge with another bank and in persuading the government to acquire a piece of land from his bank.

'Political donations'

Koo had denied the allegations, saying the money was a political donation to Chen's Democratic Progressive Party.

Chen Yun-nan said prosecutors accepted Koo's version of events and said he had not  been charged as the former leader had demanded that Koo pay him the money.

"Koo is considered to be the victim of the crime," he said.

Chen Shui-bian was first indicted in November and has already been charged with embezzling about $3.15m while president from 2000 to 2008.

He has repeatedly denied the charges, saying he was being persecuted by Ma Ying-jeou, his successor as president, because of his anti-China views.

Chen remains in detention in Taipei and, if convicted, he could face life in prison.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Referendum on Scottish independence is the first major election in the UK where 16 and 17-year olds get a vote.
Blogger critical of a lack of government transparency faces defamation lawsuit from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Farmers worry about their future as buyers shun local produce and rivers show an elevated presence of heavy metals.
War-torn neighbour is an uncertain haven for refugees fleeing Pakistan's Balochistan, where locals seek independence.
NSA whistleblower Snowden and journalist Greenwald accuse Wellington of mass spying on New Zealanders.
join our mailing list