Sat, Mar 28, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Chen Chih-chung, wife questioned on money transfers

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Prosecutors yesterday questioned the son and daughter-in-law of detained former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) about their money transfer activity in the money-laundering case involving the former first family.

Chen Chih-chung (陳致中) and his wife Huang Jui-ching (黃睿靚) were indicted in December for money laundering in connection with Chen Shui-bian’s case. Prosecutors yesterday also questioned the couple about cash flows among members of the former first family and others in connection to the case, said Chen Chih-chung’s attorney, Yeh Ta-hui (葉大慧), said yesterday.

The couple had promised to wire NT$570 million (US$16.8 million) from Swiss bank accounts back to Taiwan so they could enter plea negotiations with the prosecution. However, Yeh told reporters yesterday that the money would not go through unless the court issued official documents to the Swiss banks.

“Chen Chih-chung has already sent letters asking Swiss banks to wire the money [back to Taiwan]. The banks replied that because the case had entered into judicial mutual assistance, even though [Chen Chih-chung] expressed consent to wire the money into the Taiwanese account assigned [by prosecutors], the banks need to see official documents issued from the court,” Yeh said. “The money would be wired back in the near future through channels provided by the judicial mutual assistance system.”

Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南), spokesperson for the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Investigation Panel, declined to comment on the matter.

Prosecutors are trying to determine why some parts of Chen Chih-chung’s testimony contradicted other witness testimony, Yeh said, without elaborating.

Chen Chih-chung said previously that his mother Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) would donate all the money to charity if investigations proved the money was clean.

Chen Shui-bian was indicted on Dec. 13 last year on charges of embezzling government funds, money laundering and forgery, along with 13 others, including his wife. He is currently being held at the Taipei Detention Center.

He has denied the accusations, but admitted that the money was sent overseas, saying it was leftover campaign contributions.

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