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Chen unwell at hearing

FORMER Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian, who is facing corruption charges, complained of feeling "unwell" during a court hearing yesterday to decide if his detention should be extended.

He was sent back to his detention center pending a ruling whether the custody, to end on May 24, would be extended for two more months, or if he could be granted bail.

Chen was indicted on December 12 last year for money laundering and bribery. He and his wife were charged with embezzling NT$104 million (US$3.15 million) in public funds and accepting bribes of at least US$9 million in a land purchase deal. Chen and his alleged collaborators are also accused of laundering the illegal income.

Chen has been in detention since December and faces a possible life sentence if convicted.

The Taipei court on March 3 rejected an appeal against his detention and ordered he be held in custody for a further two months, starting March 26.

As Chen said he felt unwell, the court sent him back in to custody and adjourned the hearing to this morning. His counsel must finish its statement before noon today.


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