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Taiwan's Chen loses appeal to end detention

A TAIPEI court yesterday rejected former Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian's appeal against his detention and ordered that he be held in custody for an additional two months.

Under the island's law, a defendant whose maximum potential sentence is below 10 years should not be held for more than three months during trial.

If necessary, courts can prolong the detention for no more than two months each time. The detention period can be extended at most three times.

Chen, however, is facing several corruption charges, and his most severe sentence could be life, which made the court consider prolonging his detention more than three times, according to the judges at the Taipei district court.

Chen was first detained on December 30, 2008.

The Taipei court said yesterday that the charges against Chen were very severe and he had repeatedly disturbed the judicial procedure to protect himself and delay the litigation.

"Under the current circumstances, it will be very hard to hold more trials if Chen Shui-bian is not detained," the court said.

It added that Chen was likely to destroy or change evidence and collude with witnesses if he is not kept in detention.

"Thus Chen's appeal for repealing the detention was rejected," the court said.

Chen and his wife are accused of taking bribes worth NT$100 million (US$29 million) and US$6 million in a corporate land procurement deal, and the couple are also allegedly involved in pocketing more than NT$104 million in special funds.

Chen and his alleged collaborators are also accused of laundering the illegal income.


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