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Taiwan's ex-president released on bail

  • Story Highlights
  • Chen Shui-bian released from jail after indictment
  • Chen is accused of embezzling 600 million New Taiwan Dollars ($18 million)
  • Thirteen others, including Chen's wife, son, have been indicted along with Chen
  • Chen's son allegedly has Swiss bank account with $22 million in illegal proceeds
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(CNN) -- Former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian was freed on bail early Saturday after spending a month in jail while prosecutors prepared an indictment on several corruption charges, including embezzlement and accepting bribes.

Former Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian speaks to reporters Friday in Taipei.

Former Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian speaks to reporters Friday in Taipei.

Judges in Taipei ordered Chen released after the indictment was formally presented Friday, saying they did not believe he was a risk to flee the country.

No trial date or subsequent court appearance was indicated in court papers.

The former president, whose term ended in May, is accused of embezzling 600 million New Taiwan Dollars ($18 million). Prosecutors say he also took bribes, laundered money and illegally removed classified documents from the president's office.

Chen, 58, has denied any wrongdoing and insists the charges are politically motivated.

His party favors independence for Taiwan, while the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou favors closer ties with mainland China.

The felony charges could carry 25 years or more in prison if Chen is convicted, although the prosecutors did not call for any specific jail time in the indictment.

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Thirteen others, including Chen's wife, son, daughter-in-law and wife's brother, have been indicted along with Chen.

Prosecutors said Chen's son has a Swiss bank account with $22 million believed to be illegal proceeds.

Journalist Andrew Lee contributed to this report.

All About TaiwanChen Shui-bianChinaMa Ying-jeou

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