Tue, Nov 27, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Yu pleads not guilty at corruption hearing

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH AFP

Former premier Yu Shyi-kun addresses dozens of supporters outside the Taipei District Court yesterday before the first hearing of his trial on corruption and forgery charges. Yu denied any wrongdoing.

PHOTO: PATRICK LIN, AFP

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Yu Shyi-kun proclaimed his innocence yesterday during the first hearing of a corruption trial in which he stands accused of misusing his special allowance fund.

"As a civil servant for more than two decades, I always followed the rules ... with integrity, the indictment is a grave insult. I hope I will be cleared of the charges by the court," Yu told reporters before he entered the courtroom yesterday.

Yu's wife, Yang Pao-yu (楊寶玉), who was also indicted in the same case on charges of using fraudulent receipts to reclaim money from the special allowance fund, also attended the hearing as a defendant.

Asked by judges how he would plead, Yu said: "I am not guilty of these charges."

Yu's lawyer, Liao Hsueh-hsing (廖學興), asked the court to hold the proceedings behind closed doors. As a former premier and secretary-general of the presidential office, Yu's case was likely to concern national secrets and therefore it would be proper to keep the hearing secret, Liao told the court.

But the presiding judge said none of the receipts Yu allegedly used to reclaim money from his special allowance fund concerned national security, national defense or diplomacy, so it was unnecessary to keep the hearing secret.

The Supreme Prosecutors Office in September indicted Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), Yu and National Security Council Secretary-General Mark Chen (陳唐山) on suspicion of misusing their special allowance funds.

The trio were charged with corruption and forgery.

Prosecutors alleged that Yu used a total of 516 receipts from others to claim NT$2.3 million (US$71,000) from his special allowance fund between October 2000 and December 2005 during his time as secretary-general of the Presidential Office and premier.

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