Singapore Media Watch

Friday, November 03, 2006

Roundup of regional news - 3 November 2006

International Herald Tribune

Taiwan's first lady indicted on corruption charges

TAIPEI, Taiwan: Prosecutors in Taiwan said Friday they have enough evidence to indict President Chen Shui-bian on corruption charges in connection with his handling of a secret diplomatic fund, significantly adding to pressures on Chen to resign.

The announcement by Chang Wen-cheng of the Taiwan High Prosecutors' Office came after a monthslong probe of how the presidential office handled the fund, which is used to sustain Taiwanese diplomatic efforts abroad.

Chen's wife, Wu Shu-chen, and three former presidential aides were indicted in connection with the handling of the fund on charges of embezzlement, forgery of documents and perjury, Chang said.

He said that between 2002 and 2006, Wu took possession of 14.8 million New Taiwan dollars (US$450,000; €350,000) in fund expenses not covered by receipts. (Read more...)

Financial Times

Taiwan’s president Chen named graft suspect

Taiwanese prosecutors on Friday declared President Chen Shui-bian a suspect in a corruption case as they said they had indicted his wife, Wu Shu-chen, on charges of graft.

Mr Chen, who has 20 months left on his current term in office and cannot be prosecuted while serving as president, is accused of obtaining “illegal financial gains” through his office, prosecutors told reporters.

The president could face charges once his term ends in 2008 or before then if he is forced out of office. He has been the subject of a vast and persistent protests in recent months calling for him to step down over a string of scandals to hit both his office and his family.

The main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) on Friday called for Mr Chen to step down and security forces were erecting barricades in the streets of Taipei in preparation for possible protests. (Read more...)


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