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Ex-president acquitted of charges of stealing diplomatic funds

2011/04/28 18:32:40

Taipei, April 28 (CNA) The Supreme Court on Thursday turned downan appeal by prosecutors against the acquittal of former PresidentChen Shui-bian on charges of stealing US$330,000 from Taiwan's secretdiplomatic funds during his time in office.

The Supreme Court decision followed rulings by both the TaipeiDistrict Court and the Taiwan High Court that Chen had used thesecret diplomatic fund in accordance with past precedent.

The lower courts also said in their "not guilty" verdicts thatthe prosecution had failed to prove that money from the diplomaticfund was included in the amounts Chen and his family had wired to anoverseas account to pay for his son's education in the United States.

Chen was accused of skimming US$30,000 from the lump sum ofUS$100,000 in secret diplomatic funds that was provided by theMinistry of Foreign Affairs for each of Chen's 11 trips abroadbetween August 2000 and September 2006. Prosecutors charged that Chenhad used the funds to help finance his son's education in the U.S.

The former president is currently serving a combined jail term of17.5 years in Taipei Prison in Kueishan, Taoyuan County, for bribery.

He was sentenced to 11 years in prison by the Supreme Court inNovember 2010 for accepting bribes in a land deal when he was inoffice, and to another eight years on bribery charges in a secondcase.

(By Lai You–chia & Bear Lee)
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