Lee Teng-hui back in court

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Feb 23, 2013 - Page 3

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) yesterday appeared in court for a pre-trial procedure after being indicted on charges of embezzling state funds in 2011. Lee did not comment on the trial.

The 90-year-old greeted the media before and after the 20-minute procedure at the Taipei District Court, which was closed to the public because the case involves confidential diplomatic information.

Lee’s lawyer, Kao Yung-cheng (高涌誠), said Lee looked tired because he went to bed late the previous night and awoke early in the morning to attend the proceedings, adding that he had requested more time to review case files and other documents.

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 between 1998 and 1999.

Lee, following a previous court appearance on Aug. 10 last year, said at the time that he had “full confidence” that his innocence and integrity would prevail because the prosecution’s case was “groundless.”

Meanwhile, as he was leaving the court yesterday, Lee said in response to a reporter’s question that he did not have a special relationship with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Lee was commenting on a report by the Chinese-language Next Magazine published on Wednesday, which said Lee had regularly given Abe advice, including on depreciating the yen, since the Japanese leader’s meeting with him in September 2011.