Tuesday, June 08, 2010

BREAKING: Chen found not guilty of embezzling diplomatic funds

Taiwan News reports:
The Taipei District Court found former President Chen Shui-bian not guilty Tuesday of embezzling diplomatic funds.

Chen was indicted last September for allegedly using 11 foreign trips to wire US$330,000 (NT$10 million) in special diplomatic funds to his son, Chen Chih-chung, who was studying in the United States at the time.

However, the court ruled Tuesday that there was no proof such transfers occurred.

“Prosecutors were unable to provide evidence that the ex-President wired secret and other funds budgeted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs into U.S. accounts held by his son Chih-chung,” court spokesman Huang Chun-ming told reporters after the verdict.

Chen made the trips between August 2000 and September 2006, and was accused of taking part of ministry funds each time to finance his son.

The court will deal separately with indictments against former Vice Premier Chiou I-jen, who served as secretary-general of the National Security Council, and former Vice Foreign Minister Michael Kao over the alleged embezzlement of US$500,000 (NT$15 million) worth in traveler’s checks.

Chen was not in court for the verdict. He has been detained at the Taipei Detention Center in Tucheng, Taipei County, since December 30, 2008, and the latest extension of his custody remains valid until June 23. Chen was not in court for the sentencing Tuesday.

The Taiwan High Court is scheduled to issue its verdicts on Friday in the other cases of money laundering and corruption surrounding the former First Family. Chen appealed against last September’s Taipei District Court sentences in the cases. The court gave Chen life and a fine of NT$200 million, while his wife Wu Shu-jen received life and a NT$300 million fine.

In August 2008, allegations broke that Chen and Wu had moved millions overseas into a series of accounts held by relatives. The accusations also involved payments by prominent business groups which prosecutors said were bribes while Chen and his aides and relatives said they were political donations.
Huge news. Still assessing import.

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Tim Maddog said...

The media has helped the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to paint A-bian as "guilty" for years now (for example, check out this animated GIF which still appears beside all of TVBS' articles).

After all the screeching, we find that:
- - -
[...] there was no proof such transfers occurred [...]
- - -

Remember, when the Chinese KMT says "down," think "up."

Tim Maddog

skiingkow said...

Here's an interesting excerpt from one article I found on Google...

"...But the judges dismissed the indictment as "a shoddy mishmash of evidence without a morsel of credibility." They said the prosecutors contradicted themselves by claiming in their indictment that the spending of the allowances was "totally under the control of the Foreign Ministry and the president had no say in the matter, " but in the same breath, the indictment said that "the allowances were meant to finance the president's unexpected spending on state affairs." The judges also criticized the prosecutors for using the testimony of Wu Wang-hsia, mother of ex-first lady Wu Shu-jen, against her daughter, despite being fully aware that Wu Wang-hsia was not of sound mind and actually misidentified her son as her husband occasionally in her deposition.

Furthermore, the judges said, there were long gaps between the times Chen Shui-bian wired funds to Chen Chih-chung and the times he allegedly embezzled the diplomatic funds, making the prosecutors' claims that the ex-president used the diplomatic funds to finance his son's studies in the United States "utterly unbelievable." Prosecutor-General Huang Shyh-ming, who is the immediate superior of the Special Investigation Division, said he would examine the judgment very carefully after receivin..."

How does this affect Chen's appeal, I wonder?

Anonymous said...

Some of the Taiwanese bloggers are suggesting this decision is to give the KMT something to talk about and attract votes during the upcoming elections.

Remember: if the evidence isn't there, then the trial is under the wrong lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

The Taiwan blog experts made me believe the KMT controlled Taiwan's courts. They also claimed justice is dead under Mr. Ma.

So now I found out they are just like TVBS .

Media are biased both ways.

Michael Turton said...

The Taiwan blog experts made me believe the KMT controlled Taiwan's courts. They also claimed justice is dead under Mr. Ma.


Anonymous said...

This is a BRILLIANT strategy! Totally win-win for the KMT:

First, they conveniently find Chen not guilty and release him on his own recognizance (presumably the next step), thus giving A-bian the chance to run through the streets during the election shouting whatever rants he wants, thereby ruining the careful moderate position that Tsai has created to restore voter confidence in the DPP.

Michael Turton said...

Hahaha. He already has life and isn't getting out. But they should have released him during the appeal.

Sage said...

There has been a concern on some DPP officials part that Chen could somehow be released and screw up their efforts. Fact is always stranger than fiction here.

I have no concern for Chen's well being, he and his wife are where they should be. Their abuse of trust was/is heart breaking for many Taiwanese.

But ... I do have an issue with the double standards with which the KMT operates and always has.

The hypocrisy makes one nauseous.

As long as Soong walks the streets free, as long as Ma is not held responsible for his transfer of funds to his private account; the examples are far too many to list and cover a span of 60+ years, everything the KMT does and everything they touch is suspect and with proven good reason.

les said...

Agree. CSB should by rights be out to prepare his appeal, but for the good of the DPP and the country, I hope he stays incommunicado until the elections are out of the way.
It's a lousy situation for Tsai. On the one hand she has to push for CSB's release as his legal rights are being trampled on. On the other she must be careful not to complain so loudly that he might be released and undo all the good work she is doing pulling the center vote away from Ma.