Fri, Jul 01, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Prosecutors indict Lee for corruption

OLD NEWS?The defense is expected to argue that the prosecutors’ evidence was dismissed by the Supreme Court in a 2006 case involving missing diplomatic funds

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  Staff Reporter

“They are offering nothing new, no new evidence, from the Hsu Ping-chiang case,” he said.

“The National Security Bureau was the agency that handled the funds and its head accountant has been cleared,” Koo said. “I don’t see how they can indict a former president on guesses and circumstantial evidence.”

Koo said Lee would vigorously fight the charges.

The SIP’s indictment charges Lee and Liu with embezzling public funds and money laundering. If convicted on all charges, the two men could face sentences to terms ranging from 10 years to life in prison. Liu has also been charged with being an accomplice to tax evasion and forging official documents.

Lee’s legal team said the key to the prosecution’s case would be the allegations that Lee and Liu had a close relationship, leading them to become conspirators in rerouting the diplomatic funds. The prosecutors will face a harder time proving that than they believe, Koo said.

In the May 31 interview with prosecutors, Lee denied such a relationship, according to a source close to the former leader. Wang called the two “business acquaintances.”

The indictment states that in 1999, Lee instructed the security council’s chief accountant, Hsu, to transfer funds that had just been returned from the foreign ministry to Liu, who was then the chairman of the partially state-run China Development Industrial Bank.

The prosecution claims Liu, with Lee’s apparent approval, then proceeded to launder the money through Ruentex Group chairman Samuel Yin (尹衍樑) and American Express travelers checks that were exchanged for personal donations to the Taiwan Research Institute made by Yin and several of his company’s subsidiaries.

The SIP said information on Yin’s involvement had been turned over to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office for further investigation.

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