Thu, Jun 08, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Court denies Chao bail

NO CAN DO Lawyers argued that the president's son-in-law needed to be with his wife when she gives birth, but prosecutors refused, saying he may destroy evidence

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei District Court yesterday rejected the bail application of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) son in-law, Chao Chien-ming (趙建銘), who is being detained on suspicion of insider trading of Taiwan Development Corp (TDC) shares.

Chao's lawyer told the court that, as a father Chao needed to be by the side of his wife, Chen Hsing-yu, (陳幸妤) when she gives birth to the couple's third child, which is due next month.

As Chen has been depressed since Chao was detained, doctors have been worried about her and the unborn child's health, the lawyer said.

However, Taipei District Court spokesman Liu Shou-sung (劉壽嵩) said that "the court has decided to reject the application because the investigation is still ongoing and some details are still not clear."

Liu said that Chao was being detained so that there was no chance for him and other key figures in the case to conspire or destroy evidence.

Meanwhile, Taipei prosecutors yesterday summoned Chao's father, Chao Yu-chu (趙玉柱), and mother Chien Shui-mien (簡水綿) for a second round of questioning.

Prosecutors are trying to discover the origins of huge deposits made into the bank accounts of Chao Yu-chu and Chien.

Prosecutors suspect that Chao used his family members' accounts to deposit the cash.

Among the deposits, prosecutors discovered that in 2003 Eslite Books chairman Robert Wu (吳清友) deposited NT$10 million (US$310,000) in Chao Yu-chu's account.

The Ministry of Justice's Investigation Bureau summoned Wu for questioning on Tuesday and released him later the same day.

Wu yesterday told reporters that the money was a donation to the Taiwan Table Tennis Association through the head of the association account of Chao Yu-chu.

But as Chao Yu-chu did not then transfer the money to the accounts of the association, prosecutors suspect Chao Yu-chu might have attempted to embezzle the money.

Chao Yu-chu and Chien, having avoided the media scrum since the scandal was revealed, faced the public when they left the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office yesterday.

Chao Yu-chu told reporters he and his family were very sorry for the political turbulence their family's behavior had caused, but he insisted that the deposits in the family's accounts and the purchase of TDC stocks were legal.

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