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Court orders detention of Taiwan ex-president

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Former president Chen Shui-bian detained hours after being taken to hospital
  • Chen faced six hours of questioning earlier in day over corruption claims
  • He allegedly laundered money and made illegal use of special presidential fund
  • Chen told journalists that he was the subject of "political persecution"
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(CNN) -- A judge ordered the former president of Taiwan detained Wednesday on corruption charges, just hours after he was taken to a hospital after he accused police of pushing and rough-handling him before he appeared in court in Taipei, according to state-run media.

Chen Shui-bian, who according to Taiwan's Central News Agency is accused of embezzling 600 million Taiwan New Dollars ($18 million), was led away in handcuffs earlier in the day after six hours of questioning by prosecutors, said Jonathan Lai of ETTV, a CNN affiliate in Taiwan.

The ex-president, whose presidential term ended in May, held his cuffed hands up for journalists to see and shouted "Political persecution! Long live Taiwan!"

He was taken to National Taiwan University Hospital Tuesday night.

Taiwan's Central News Agency said anti-corruption prosecutors were investigating the ex-president "over his alleged misuse of his discretionary 'state affairs fund' and a money-laundering case involving the former first family."

Prosecutors have asked a three-judge panel to formally detain the ex-president. They said "it is necessary to take Chen into custody while they continue their probe because the crimes Chen is suspected of committing are felonies," according to the news agency.

Chen denies any wrongdoing.

On Monday, Chen told reporters he believed he would be detained, saying authorities could "lock up my body, not my heart," the agency said. Video Watch the latest controversy concerning the former president »

Chen has insisted the charges are politically motivated, Lai said.

Chen's political party favors independence for Taiwan while the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou favors closer ties with mainland China.


ETTV said Chen is charged with corruption, money laundering, forging documents, taking bribes and embezzling at least $21 million in government funds. He is also accused of hiding secret documents.

Nine other people have been arrested in the case, including Chen's former treasurer, and they have agreed to testify against him.

All About TaiwanChen Shui-bianChinaMa Ying-jeou

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