Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Historic day for Nigeria and day of hope for Africa

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Historic Election: The Return of Muhammadu Buhari (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Historic Election: The Return of Muhammadu Buhari (part 1)

Read more

FOCUS

The rise of Hindu far-right groups

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: San Cristobal, Venezuela's tinderbox

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Rebuilding attacked churches in Niger, and illegal fishing in Iran

Read more

#THE 51%

The extraordinary tale of the Egyptian mother who lived as a man

Read more

ENCORE!

Film Show : 'Suite française', 'Shaun the sheep' and 'A perfect man'

Read more

FOCUS

Strait of Hormuz: a smuggler's paradise

Read more

Asia-pacific

Former first lady pleads guilty to graft charges

Latest update : 2009-02-10

Taiwan's former first lady Wu Shu-jen pleaded guilty to money-laundering and forgery during a court hearing on Tuesday, though she rejected other embezzlement charges.

REUTERS - Taiwan former first lady Wu Shu-jen pleaded guilty on Tuesday in connection with a massive graft case embroiling her family after she showed up in court after 17 non-appearances in two years. Wu, who beamed and waved as she entered the Taipei District Court in a wheelchair, is charged with embezzlement and receipt forgery involving public funds. Prosecutors added a money-laundering charge in December.
 
She pleaded guilty to forgery and of accepting $2.2 million related to a suspected shady land use deal, but denied other graft charges.
 
The case involving Wu, her husband former president Chen Shui-bian, their family and his aides has hurt the image of the Democratic Progressive Party, which backed Chen in office from 2000 to 2008 and faces tense local elections later this year.
 
Chen and Wu left the party in August.
 
At her only other appearance so far, to enter a not-guilty plea in December 2006, Wu apparently fainted in a courthouse restroom. Paralysed from the waist down from an accident in 1985, she sought medical leave thereafter, enraging the judges.
 
Chen is in jail awaiting trial on charges he and his family embezzled T$104 million (3 million) from a special fund, took bribes of about $9 million related to a land procurement deal and accepted another $2.73 million in kickbacks to help a contractor.
 
Prosecutors are going easier on Wu.
 
"We don't have a specific sentence, just that she be prosecuted under law," said prosecutor's spokesman Chen Yun-nan.
 
Wu's lawyers would not comment on Tuesday's court appearance, which was a preparatory hearing ahead of an expected full trial.

Date created : 2009-02-10

COMMENT(S)