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Friday, September 11, 2009

Taiwan court convicts Chen, imposes life sentence

Taiwan's former president Chen Shui-bian speaks to media at the Taipei District Court after being released on bail, early Saturday morning, Dec. 13, 2008, in Taipei, Taiwan. (AP)

Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian got life behind bar for corruptions and causing great damages to the country. Inspired of that the Hun Xen regime officials have been destroying the country, selling the country and enormous corruptions are walking free. Cambodians wonder when are those criminals going to stay for life in prison? News Staff
Former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian has been sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted of corruption on Friday, marking a defining moment in the island's troubled political history.

Chen's wife was also convicted of corruption and she too will be serving a life term, according to Taipei court official Huang Chun-ming.

Huang said the couple was also fined NT $500 million (about $16.3 million CAD)

"Chen Shui-bian and Wu Shu-chen were sentenced to life in prison because Chen has done grave damage to the country, and Wu, because she was involved in corruption deals as the first lady," Huang told The Associated Press.

Hundreds of people held a protest outside the courtroom to show their support for Chen, holding flags and banners that proclaimed his innocence and asking the court to "free him."

Chen, 58, was found guilty of multiple counts of corruption by three judges in the Taipei District Court. He chose not to attend the proceedings, opting instead to stay in a suburban Taipei jail where he has been held since late December.

He was charged with:

embezzling $3.15 million from a presidential fund
receiving bribes worth $9 million in connection with a government land deal
laundering money through Swiss bank accounts forging documents.

Many Taiwanese believed that Chen was guilty of some level of corruption though his supporters remain convinced that Chen's views against China played a role in his prosecution and his jail term.

At first, Chen was freed on his own recognizance following his indictment late 2008. The three judges who made that decision were taken off the case and replaced by a new panel. The new judges ordered Chen back in police custody, deeming him a flight risk and saying that he could use his freedom to collude with coconspirators.

But the Taiwanese justice officials have steadfastly rejected accusations of unfairness, saying that no man -- regardless of his position -- is above the law.

Chen first came into power in 2000 after he vowed to eradicate decades of corruption by the Nationalist Party. He also promised he would deepen Taiwan's independence.

However, he was swiftly criticized for his alleged tendency to bend accepted procedures and relax the management of a special presidential fund meant to promote Taiwan's interests overseas.

Chen faced numerous challenges, including China's hostility and tense relations with the U.S. -- Taiwan's major foreign partner.

Washington had pressured the former president to stand down from his insistence on Taiwanese independence, afraid it would spark a war with Beijing.

President Ma Ying-jeou has since taken over for Chen, who has managed to improve relations with Beijing.

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