Wed, Apr 01, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Accountants grilled on third day of Wu embezzlement trial

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former first lady Wu Shu-jen’s (吳淑珍) trial on charges of embezzlement, bribery and money-laundering entered its third day yesterday, with former Presidential Office accounting officers testifying on how presidential “state affairs fund” expenses had been handled.

Wu’s lawyer Lin Chih-chung (林志忠) called former Presidential Office accountant Chiu ­Chiung-hsien (邱瓊賢) to the stand and questioned her on her handling of the state affairs fund.

Chiu said that in processing accounting records related to the fund, her main contact was Chen Chen-hui (陳鎮慧), the former president’s bookkeeper. She replied that she had never had any contact with the former first lady.

“Accounting personnel were mainly responsible for [reimbursement] paperwork,” she said.

As a way of “showing respect for the president,” most of the expense requests from the Presidential Office were approved for reimbursement, and accountants refrained from asking too many questions about the receipts, she said.

When processing paperwork related to the fund, she said she “followed the norm set by others before [her].”

Wu had arrived with her usual entourage of her son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), a doctor, a nurse and a caregiver. After announcing that the court was in session, Presiding Judge Tsai Shou-hsun (蔡守訓) asked Wu about her health. Wu, who appeared tired, told the judge that she had not received her regular protein injection because she had rushed to the Taipei District Court.

Tsai asked Wu if she needed a recess to receive the injection, but she declined, saying her blood pressure was normal. However, Wu sounded weaker than usual and yawned incessantly.

Wu a month ago admitted guilt to money laundering and forgery, but denies the embezzlement charges.

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