The family of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has remitted to Taiwan an additional US$234,036 from their accounts in two Swiss banks, according to the prosecutors in charge of the case.
The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Panel (SIP) said the money — a portion of the US$21 million held by members of Chen’s family in Merrill Lynch Bank (Suisse) and the Royal Bank of Scotland — was wired to Taiwanese bank accounts designated by the SIP earlier on Friday.
The money in the Swiss banks, which had been frozen since 2007, was held in accounts under the names of the ex--president’s son and daughter-in-law — Chen Chih-chung (陳致中) and Huang Jui-ching (黃睿靚).
TOTAL TO DATE
To date, the SIP has received US$21,204,313.17 from the two Swiss banks and only about US$250,000 of mutual funds remains to be remitted, the SIP said.
In addition to the US$21 million frozen in the two banks, the former first family also transferred NT$570 million (US$19 million) to Swiss private bank Wegelin & Co in June 2007.
The funds were drawn from the NT$740 million the family had put in a Cathay United Bank vault in Taipei.
Prosecutors have argued that all the money deposited by Chen’s family overseas was illegally acquired and should be confiscated, but Chen and his wife were recently found not guilty of corruption charges related to the money deposited with Wegelin & Co.
Chen Shui-bian, who served as president from 2000 to 2008, and his wife, Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), were both sentenced to life in prison and fined NT$200 million and NT$300 million respectively in September last year on charges of taking bribes, money laundering and forgery.
After two appeals, the sentences for Chen Shui-bian and Wu were reduced to 17-and-a-half years.
Chen Shui-bian has begun serving his sentence, but judicial authorities are still determining if Wu, who requires a wheelchair, can serve her sentence without jeopardizing her fragile health.