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Ex-president said to collect information against predecessor

2012/05/21 23:01:35

Taipei, May 21 (CNA) Special prosecutors are alleging that former President Chen Shui-bian collected classified government documents after leaving office in 2008 in part to serve as evidence against former President Lee Teng-hui and other politicians.

Chen was indicted by the prosecutors with the Special Investigation Division (SID) under the Supreme Prosecutors Office Monday for violating the Classified National Security Information Protection Act by illegally taking classified government documents.

Following an investigation, the prosecutors found that Chen had over 17,000 documents, of which 3,419 were classified, packed up and sent to his personal office in Taipei after the Democratic Progressive Party lost the presidential election in March 2008.

Chen said the documents were to help him write a memoir, but there were indications that he had other intentions, prosecutors said.

Yeh Sheng-mao, who served as Investigation Bureau Director-General during Chen's time in office from 2000 to 2008, told prosecutors that Chen had asked for information on a failed investment project when it was exposed in 2002 in which officials serving during Lee's tenure, or even Lee himself, may have been involved in corruption.

In August 2008, when Chen was accused of money laundering, he confessed he had transmitted remaining election funds to an overseas accounts and accused People First Party Chairman James Soong and honorary Kuomintang Chairman Lien Chan of similar conduct.

Based on those and other findings, prosecutors suggested that Chen collected negative information on other politicians to try and divert attention from his alleged misconduct to that of others while he stood trial on corruption charges.

Chen is currently serving a combined jail term of 17.5 years in prison for corruption during his two terms in office from 2000 to 2008.

(By Lee Hsiang-chun and Elizabeth Hsu)