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Ex-Taiwan leader's children tied to graft

June 4, 2009 at 2:10 PM

TAIPEI, Taiwan, June 4 (UPI) -- The son and daughter of former Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian were named defendants in a corruption case embroiling the ex-leader, prosecutors said.

Son Chen Chih-chung and daughter Chen Hsing-yu -- along with her husband Chao Chien-ming and former Taipei Financial Center Corp. Chairwoman Diana Chen -- were charged with perjury for allegedly giving false testimony in a probe into alleged embezzlement by former President Chen, a prosecution spokesman said.

The case is being handled by the Taipei district prosecutor's office, the Taipei Times reported Thursday.

Chen Shui-bian, elected in 2000 vowing to end political corruption, faces charges of bribery and embezzlement. He resigned from the country's Democratic Progressive Party in August 2008 after admitting his wife, Wu Shu-chen, wired $21 million in campaign funds to accounts in Singapore, the Cayman Islands and Switzerland.

The former president claims he didn't know of his wife's campaign-money dealings and alleges the charges are a plot by Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou to win closer relations with China. Chen was a fierce advocate of independence from China.

Prosecutors allege Chen stole or took more than $30 million in bribes.

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