Wed, Oct 08, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Prosecutors detain fourth suspect in case against Chen


Prosecutors yesterday detained Wu Ching-mao (吳景茂), the brother of former first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), over his suspected role in an embezzlement and money-laundering scandal involving former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

Prosecutors said they had requested that Wu be detained to prevent him from collaborating with other suspects in the case.

Wu became the fourth person to be detained in the probe into the former first family’s alleged misconduct.

Last Friday, the Taipei District Court also granted a request by prosecutors to detain a close aide of Chen, Lin Teh-hsun (林德訓), who was the director of Chen’s office from 2005 to early this year, after interrogating him earlier on the same day.

Prosecutors said they suspected Lin was involved in the embezzlement, committing fraud through the abuse of his position and destroying the evidence.

Chen Chen-hui (陳鎮慧), the former cashier of the Presidential Office under Chen Shui-bian, was the first to be detained. Tsai Ming-che (蔡銘哲), the brother of Tsai Mei-li (蔡美利), a college classmate of Wu Shu-jen, was also detained for allegedly accepting a bribe, together with Chen Shui-bian, from a land developer and providing dummy accounts for the money-laundering activities.

Chen Chen-hui, Tsai Ming-che, Lin Teh-hsun and Wu Ching-mao have been listed as potential defendants in the case, along with Chen Shui-bian, Wu Shu-jen, their son Chen Chih-chung (陳致中) and daughter-in-law Huang Jui-ching (黃睿靚), and Tsai Ming-chieh (蔡銘杰), another brother of Tsai Mei-li.

Those not in custody have been barred from leaving the country.

The Special Investigation Division under the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office said that according to the 2003 rules on operating procedures for the use of the “state affairs” fund for secret missions, the funds must be sent to a special account first before they can be used and then justified by a formal document detailing the purpose of the expenditure.

The prosecutors said that while Lin and Chen Chen-hui had claimed “secret expenses” using half of the “state affairs fund,” they did not provide documents to explain the purpose of the expenditure.

Prosecutors are investigating whether any portion of the “state affairs” fund had been wired to the overseas bank accounts of Chen Shui-bian’s family during his eight-year presidency.

Chen Shui-bian admitted on Aug. 14 that his wife had wired family funds abroad without his knowledge, but insisted that they did not come from the “state affairs” funds.

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