Skip to main content

Sentences for Taiwan ex-president, wife reduced from life to 20 years

By the CNN Wire Staff
Former Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian walks into the high court in Taipei on September 8, 2009.
Former Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian walks into the high court in Taipei on September 8, 2009.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Former Taiwanese leader and wife fined total of 370 million New Taiwan Dollars (U.S. $11.5 million)
  • Sentences reduced to 20 years from life for former president and first lady
  • Prosecutors said Chen Shui-bian embezzled 600 million New Taiwan dollars
  • Chen said the money was political contributions
RELATED TOPICS
  • Taiwan
  • Chen Shui-bian

(CNN) -- Taiwan's former leader Chen Shui-bian and and his wife Wu Shu-jen have been sentenced to 20 years in jail, the island's High Court reported. Both had initially been sentenced to life imprisonment after their convictions in 2009 on charges of corruption.

The court fined Chen 170 million New Taiwan Dollars (U.S. $5.3 million) and fined his wife 200 million New Taiwan Dollars (U.S. $6.2 million).

During his trial, prosecutors said Chen embezzled 600 million New Taiwan dollars (U.S. $18.5 million), took bribes, laundered money and illegally removed classified documents from the president's office.

Chen countered that the bribe money was actually political donations. He also said that a special presidential fund from which he is accused of embezzling does not clearly say what the money can and cannot be used for.

Wu was convicted on charges that she helped her son, daughter and son-in-law provide false testimony. Prosecutors said the former first couple's son has a Swiss bank account with $22 million they think are illegal proceeds.

The challenge for prosecutors was to prove that Chen handed out political favors in exchange for money. The former president said he was being persecuted politically by his successor.

Chen's party favors independence for Taiwan. His successor, President Ma Ying-jeou, favors closer ties with mainland China.

 
Quick Job Search