Former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian detained

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian has been detained on charges of money laundering, embezzling government funds, taking bribes and forging documents. Television coverage showed him shouting "political persecution" while being led away in handcuffs.

"The KMT and the Chinese Communist Party see me as their number one prisoner as I am the biggest stone blocking their way to reunification," Chen said according to reports.

Chen Shui-bian in 2007.
Image: Rico Shen.

However, court proceedings were halted so that he could be taken to hospital, due to an injury sustained after he was detained. He was discharged when doctors found that his injuries were minor, and Chen returned to court the following morning.

Lai Ching-teh, an opposition leader, said, "The former president told the judges that he was pushed from behind while being escorted out of the prosecutors' office, and demanded that he be sent to the National Taiwan University Hospital to examine his injuries."

"This political manipulation is aimed at destroying the DPP and insulting a former leader by handcuffing him. We assure the public that the DPP will not be defeated," said Lee Chun-yee, a legislator from Chen's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Chen has publicly admitted that his wife wired tens of millions of dollars oversea, but denies any wrongdoing. He has also admitted to getting government money by submitting false receipts, though he claims that the purpose of this was only to fund "secret diplomatic missions" and not benefit himself.

Chen is a lawyer by profession and served as the President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) from May 20, 2000 through May 20, 2008.

Chen, his wife, son, daughter-in-law and brother-in-law have been named as defendants in a separate money laundering case.