A bian's wife charged over corruption

Updated: 2006-11-03 19:04

BEIJING -- Taiwan's prosecutors announced in Taipei on Friday afternoon they would file corruption charges against Wu Shu-chen, wife of Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian, along with other officials in Chen's government.

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At a media briefing at 4 p.m., a spokesman of the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office said that Wu Shu-chen was being accused of embezzlement, forgery of documents and perjury, involving 14.8 million New Taiwan dollars (448,500 U.S. dollars).

Three former aides of Chen including a close aid Ma Yong-cheng, Lin Teh-shun and an accountant Chen Chen-hui were also indicted in the case, which involves the mishandling of a secret office fund, said prosecutor Chang Wen-cheng.

The prosecutors have found evidence to indict Chen on charges of graft and forgery of documents in connection with the secret fund but as the Taiwan leader he is immune from criminal charges and a formal indictment against him will have to await the end of his term in 2008.

The 120-day investigation into the case which was launched on June 29 has involved the summoning of 276 witnesses, Chang said.

Chairman of Kuomintang Party Ma Ying-jeou held a press conference on Friday afternoon, calling on Chen to resign as soon as possible.

Chen has lost trust and respect of the Taiwan people and can no longer represent Taiwan because of the involvement in the case, therefore he must resign, he said.

"It is time for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to clear their members and be brave and responsible to urge Chen to resign, " he noted.

The ruling DPP's lawmakers are scheduled to hold a meeting at 7 p.m. Friday to discuss the charges and make corresponding plans, according to local media.

Anti-Chen demonstrators have gathered at the Taipei Railway Station to celebrate on the charges and calling on Chen to resign from his office.

The anti-Chen demonstration headquarters would hold a press conference at about 7:30 p.m., according to reports.

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