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Taiwan's former leader Chen Shui-bian denies corruption

TAIWAN'S former leader Chen Shui-bian denied all the criminal charges against him yesterday at a pretrial court hearing in Taipei.

Chen said that the huge amount of money he received in a corporate land-purchase deal was not bribe but political donation. He had never fraudulently pocketing the special funds for his office and he had never learned about his wife Wu Shu-chen's overseas bank accounts as none of his family members had ever informed him of the overseas property.

Chen denied any legal responsibility regarding the overseas property while saying that he apologized to the Taiwan people for his political and moral responsibility on the issue of overseas property.

Meanwhile, the former Taiwan leader blamed the investigators for their "intervention in politics and unfair stance". He asked the court to stop his custody.

After a 10-hour hearing, the judge decided that Chen must remain in custody and he should attend the court once again on Wednesday.

Chen and his wife are accused of taking bribes worth 100 million NT dollars (US$29 million) and US$6 million in a corporate land procurement, and the couple are also allegedly involved in deceivingly pocketing over 104 million NT dollars of special funds. Chen and his collaborators are also accused of laundering the illegal income.


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