His National Security Council secretary-general Chiou I-jen and deputy minister of foreign affairs Michael Kau were also formally charged with misappropriating NT$500,000 in the conduct of Operation An-Ya, a diplomatic venture. Part of the money is believed to go to the ex-president's private coffer.These indictments were part of a new set of indictments of Chen Shui-bian that were handed down after he was given a life sentence. The CNA said:
Prosecutors have accused Chen of embezzling the money under the pretext of conducting secret diplomatic work, according to Chen Yun-nan, chief of the Special Investigation Division under the Supreme Prosecutors Office, who spoke to reporters at a news conference that same day.The Taipei Times account is here.
The prosecutor said the ex-president was allocated US$100,000 by the Foreign Ministry on each of 11 official visits he made overseas between August 2000 and September 2006.
Instead of returning the unused funds back to the Foreign Ministry as he was supposed to have done, the prosecutor said, Chen withheld US$30,000 each time and wired it overseas to pay the tuition and other expenses of his son Chen Chih-chung when he was studying in the United States.
Also indicted in the case were former secretary-general of the National Security Council Chiou I-jen, who has been accused of taking US$500,000 in funds for secret diplomatic missions, and former Vice Foreign Minister Michael Kau, who stands accused of helping Chiou to get the money.
Both men, who served during Chen's presidency, have denied the charges.
According to the grapevine, the "corruption" charge is related to the flow of money through his hands, as he is widely regarded as passionately pro-Taiwan and of high integrity. Apparently prosecutors lack evidence that he took any money and essentially he is being charged with improper accounting, as I understand it. Readers will have to decide themselves whether they see more than mere political retaliation here.
The hoo-ha over the large sums of money that Chen allegedly pillaged from the secret diplomatic funds should not blind observers to the fact that in the investigation of Chen, the government is essentially focusing on two things: who gave money to the DPP, and what the Chen Administration's secret diplomacy was.
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