Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) made his appearance at the Taiwan High Court yesterday to defend himself in a case in which he is accused of having embezzled state funds, as he assured reporters that that he is now in good health.
Lee appeared with his lawyer Wellington Koo (顧立雄). The cross-examination lasted about one hour and 20 minutes.
Speaking to reporters when he arrived, Lee confidently said he is not guilty and will be cleared of all charges against him.
After the court appearance, reporters were concerned about the effects of the cold weather and asked Lee if he was fatigued.
Lee replied with a laugh: “My health is fine now. Although I am more than 90 years of age, my body is stronger than yours.”
Lee was asked about his lawyer Koo, who was standing nearby, regarding the Taipei mayoral race.
“He is an outstanding lawyer and a great person, but I am not sure if he will win. I hope people can support him,” Lee said.
Reporters then inquired about Lee’s opinion on Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), the other mayoral candidate of the pan-green camp.
“Ko is an amusing person. He is an individual with his own viewpoints,” he said.
The Special Investigation Division (SID) of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office on June 30, 2011, indicted Lee and Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英), accusing them of embezzling US$7.8 million in secret diplomatic funds to set up the Taiwan Research Institute, when Lee was serving his presidency. Lee was acquitted of the charges by the Taipei District Court in November last year, but the SID appealed to the Taiwan High Court.