07/30/2009, 00.00
TAIWAN - CHINA
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Case against Chen Shuibian concludes, ruling set for September 11

In the final hearing the former president insisted that he is innocent and a victim of a political process, pro-Beijing. If found guilty, he risks a life sentence. In July, his wife and son distanced themselves from his position, admitting some of the allegations.
Taipei (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The ruling against former President Chen Shuibian and his wife Wu Shuchen, accused of corruption, money laundering and other serious crimes, will be issued on 11 September. This was announced yesterday by a spokesman for the Court, after the last hearing.

In the final plea, the prosecution not only reaffirmed the Chen’s guilt, but also accused him of having “acted shamefully and with total lack of conscience. "

The former president, in prison since December 30 to prevent him leaving the country or interfering with evidence, has always rejected any accusation.  He insists that the charges are part of a political process engineered by President Ma Yingjeou to please Beijing. Indeed, he has always been an ardent support of independence, attracting the continuous criticism of China. After having maintained silence, on July 28 Chen took the stand to reiterate that this is an unfair trial. Yesterday, his lawyer insisted that the sums of money he received were simply "political donations" to fund his campaign. If found guilty, the former president risks life imprisonment.

In addition his wife, Chen's son Chihchung Chen, daughter-in-law Huang Juiching, brother-in-law Wu Chinmao and 10 of his closest collaborators, have also been charged with various crimes. This month his son acknowledged having helped his mother to transfer ill-gotten funds abroad, distancing himself from his father’s stance of total negation. He also acknowledged that he had opened two bank accounts in Switzerland, at his mother’s request, where he lodged 21 million U.S. dollars.

In a dramatic turn,  at the beginning of July Wu asked her husband to admit his guilt and exonerate his son and daughter-in-law, who have always been unaware of the origins of the money. Wu admitted transferring money abroad, but still insists that the sum came from political donations.

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