Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) yesterday appeared in court for a first hearing after being indicted on charges of embezzling state funds in 2011, saying that he was upbeat about having an opportunity to defend his integrity.
“I am glad that I could speak my mind in court and answer the Taiwanese people’s doubts for the first time in two years,” the 90-year-old said after a three-and-a-half-hour proceeding yesterday evening.
The proceedings were closed to the public because the case involved confidential diplomatic information.
The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division on June 30, 2011, indicted Lee and his aide, Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英), accusing the pair of siphoning off US$7.8 million to establish the Taiwan Research Institute from secret diplomatic funds that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs attempted to reallocate in 1998 and 1999.
Lee had previously appeared in court as a witness in the same case and at four pre-trial procedures since his prosecution. He said he had full confidence he would prove his innocence and integrity because the case is groundless.