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Two more guilty pleas in corruption case involving Taiwan ex-leader Chen
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21:20, February 05, 2009

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Two more people, including the sister-in-law of former Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian's wife, pled guilty Thursday to money laundering charges that also involved Chen and his family.

That brings the number of the defendants, 14 in all, who have pled guilty for alleged roles in the corruption case so far to nine.

Chen Chun-ying and businessman Guo Chuan-ching told a Taipei court they were guilty Thursday morning but asked for a reprieve or leniency.

Chen Shui-bian and his wife Wu Shu-chen were charged with embezzling 104 million New Taiwan dollars (3.15 million U.S. dollars) in public funds and accepting bribes of about 9 million U.S. dollars in a land purchase deal.

Chen, who has been detained in a Taipei jail since Nov. 12, was elected to the post of Taiwan leader eight years ago but lost a public vote in May last year.

Chen was first indicted by prosecutors on Dec. 12 for money laundering and bribery while in office.

Three relatives of Chen, including son Chen Chih-chung, daughter-in-law Huang Jui-ching and brother-in-law Wu Chin-mao, told a court on Jan. 21 that they had laundered money.

On Wednesday, former treasurer Chen Chen-hui, considered a key witness in the case, pled guilty to forgery and perjury charges.

She said she forged financial documents on orders of the Chen couple. She also admitted she had remitted money to some bank accounts, but said that she had done so at the request of Chen's wife and hadn't been aware that the money had been illegally obtained.

Two close friends and former special assistants of Chen's wife, Cai Ming-jhe and Cai Ming-Chieh, entered guilty pleas Tuesday.

Chen's wife Wu is due to appear in court on Feb. 10.

Source: Xinhua

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