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February 22, 2010

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Trial of Taiwan's Chen to continue

TAIWAN'S high court will continue the trial of the island's former leader Chen Shui-bian, charged with corruption, on Friday by summoning the last two witnesses, Ma Yung-cheng and Lin Teh-hsiun, both former officials in Chen's office.

The court said yesterday that it wanted to conclude Chen's case as soon as possible.

Chen and his wife were both sentenced to life imprisonment by the Taipei District Court in September for corruption, embezzlement, money laundering and other abuses when he was in power from 2000 to 2008.

They both appealed to Taiwan's high court.

The court said the focus of the trial was on the embezzlement of public funds.

Chen and his wife were found guilty of embezzling NT$104 million (US$3.24 million) in public funds by the Taipei District Court.

Taiwan's high court ordered on February 8 that Chen be held in custody for a further two months from February 24, rejecting his request to be with his wife and mother.

Procurators said Chen's detention was extended because the case had entered a substantive period.


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