Mon, Nov 27, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Eric Chen may be unable to attend Wu Shu-jen trial

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Prosecutor Eric Chen (陳瑞仁) might not attend first lady Wu Shu-jen's (吳淑珍) trial due to the extent of his investigations into the handling of special allowance funds by the vice president and several other prominent DPP politicians.

"I might not have enough time to attend the trail which might be very long," Eric Chen told the press yesterday.

Late last month he indicted first lady Wu on corruption and forgery charges in connection with the handling of the presidential office's "state affairs fund," and said President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was also suspected of graft and forgery, but could not be charged because of presidential immunity.

President Chen has insisted that he and his wife are innocence.

Eric Chen had planned to head a prosecution team during Wu's trial and said that since the case is complicated and as he was one of two prosecutors who thoroughly understood the case, it would be helpful if he could personally attend the trail.

However, Eric Chen last week launched an investigation into Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun and former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) -- the DPP's Taipei mayoral candidate -- focussed on their handling of special allowance funds during their tenure as public servants.

He has also helped Prosecutor Hou Kuan-jen (侯寬仁) to probe Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) alleged misuse of his special mayoral expense fund.

Hou and Eric Chen are both with the Black Gold Investigation Center of the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors' Office.

The Taipei District Prosecutors' Office yesterday said it had proposed three leading prosecutors to implement prosecution during Wu's trial, but that the office did not know whether Eric Chen would attend the trial.

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