Taiwan court sentences ex-president to life for corruption
A Taiwan court Friday sentenced ex-president Chen Shui-bian to life in prison for corruption in a widely watched case dubbed by local media as Taiwan's trial of the century.world Updated: Sep 11, 2009 18:01 IST
A Taiwan court Friday sentenced ex-president Chen Shui-bian to life in prison for corruption in a widely watched case dubbed by local media as Taiwan's trial of the century.
Chen was also fined 200 million Taiwan dollars ($6.09 million) and stripped of his civil rights for life, Judge Tsai Shou-hsin ruled.
The court also sentenced Chen's wheelchair-bound wife, Wu Shu-chen, to life for corruption and fined her 300 million Taiwan dollars.
Chen's son, Chen Chih-chung, was given 30 months for helping his parents launder money abroad.
The court also asked prosecutors to investigate whether Chen Shui-bian's daughter, Chen Hsing-yu, and son-in-law, Chao Chien-ming, were involved in embezzlement.
Chen Shui-bian, 58, who was president from 2000 to 2008, has been held at the Taipei Detention Centre since December.
He and his wife were charged that month with embezzling $2.97 million in state funds, accepting $14 million in bribes as well as money laundering, influence peddling, extortion and document forgery during his stint as president.
The sentences were protested by dozens of Chen Shui-bian's supporters who demonstrated outside the courthouse, claiming the former president and his family are innocent and the sentences politically motivated.
The protesters shouted, "Innocent!" and "Unfair trial!" Another passed out from the emotional stress.
Chen Shui-bian had denied the charges and said his detention and trial amounted to political persecution by the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou from the China-friendly Chinese Nationalist Party.
Chen Shui-bian, who belonged to the Democratic Progressive Party, and his family were expected to appeal to the high court. It was not yet clear whether the district court will release Chen Shui-bian on bail pending the appeal.