Fri, Dec 26, 2008 - Page 1 News List

SIP appeals again to detain Chen

By Jenny W. Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Special Investigation Panel (SIP) of the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office yesterday submitted a second appeal to the Taiwan High Court to re-detain former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), arguing that Chen could attempt to flee or tamper with evidence by colluding with or threatening witnesses.

The 20-page appeal, which came exactly one week after the first appeal was rejected, was delivered in person by SIP Director Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南) at approximately 5:30pm yesterday to the Taipei District Court, then to be given to the High Court.

The prosecutors asked that the High Court rule on the appeal rather than referring it back to the District Court for another review, Chen said.

In its Dec. 13 ruling, the Taipei District Court ordered that Chen, who was detained on Nov. 12, be released without bail following his indictment along with 13 other people on charges of embezzlement, corruption and money-laundering.

After the SIP’s first appeal, the Taiwan High Court on Dec. 17 ordered the Taipei District Court to rehear its decision to free Chen.

On Dec. 18, the Taipei District Court rejected the appeal and upheld its earlier decision to free Chen without bail.

Chen and his wife Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) are accused of siphoning NT$104 million (US$3.12 million) from a special Presidential Office discretionary fund.

They are also charged with accepting NT$100 million in bribes, NT$200 million in connection with a land procurement deal and another NT$90.93 million in kickbacks to help a contractor win a tender for a government project.

In the indictment, the prosecutors asked the court to hand down the maximum penalty of life in prison if Chen is convicted.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA

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