06/11/2010, 00.00
TAIWAN
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Chen’s sentence cut from life to 20 years

Appeal court reduces life sentence of former President and First Lady to 20 years. Both were convicted for graft and embezzlement. For Chen, trail was always “political”.
Taipei (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Taiwan's High Court on Friday reduced the life sentence of former President Chen Shui-bian to 20 years. He and his wife, Wu Shu-chen, had been convicted on graft and money-laundering charges. She too had her life sentence reduced to 20 years.

Chen, in jail since late 2008 pending trial, was convicted in 2009 of illegally taking US$ 20 million in public funds out of the country.

Chen has always claimed innocence, calling the charges politically motivated because he is an advocate of the island's independence from China.

The former president’s party, the Democratic Progressive Party, has also said that the case was used by other parties for political purposes.

Chen’s lawyers will determine whether to appeal again to the Supreme Court.

The life sentence and the hefty fine imposed on the defendant were roundly criticised for being too severe.

Some experts surmise that a lower sentence might calm a much-divided public.

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See also
Opposition in Taipei to submit recall motion to oust president
08/06/2006
Trial of former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian opens
26/03/2009
Opposition trying to oust Chen Shui-bian again
07/11/2006
Third anti-Chen motion fails in parliament
24/11/2006
Ex-President Chen Shui-bian back in jail
30/12/2008


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