Former Taiwan leader held on graft charges released

December 13th, 2008 - 9:11 am ICT by IANS  

Taipei, Dec 13 (Xinhua) Taiwan’s former leader Chen Shui-bian was released early Saturday morning after a month’s detainment and indictment on corruption charges.Waiting for a verdict to his trial, Chen was banned from leaving the island and instigating the public for support, pledging that he would appear at any moment for summons.

Leaving the Taipei District Court back to his home in Taipei, Chen said he would keep his promise to the prosecutors and fully cooperate in the investigation.

The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) under Taiwan’s prosecution authorities indicted the former leader Friday after finishing an investigation into allegations that Chen engaged in money laundering and other offenses during his recently concluded time in office.

Although the prosecutors asked for Chen’s further detainment, the court agreed to the leader’s lawayers’ request for bail early Saturday, following a four-hour hearing that began Friday evening.

Chen was detained on Nov 12 on accusations of money laundering and misusing a special fund during his eight years in office. His term ended in May.

Chen and his wife were found to have embezzled 104 million New Taiwan dollars ($3.15 million) in public funds and accepted bribes of about $9 million in a land purchase deal.

His wife was also found to have taken a kickback of $2.7 million from a construction project, according to prosecutors.

Their son, daughter-in-law and 10 others were also said to have assisted in concealing the crime and remitting the money to overseas bank accounts.

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