Ex-Taiwan President Chen Sentenced to Life

Chen Shui-bian, former President of , has been sentenced to life in , together with his wife, on charges of embezzlement, , money laundering and forgery. Time reports:

It was a dramatic fall from grace for the man once called the “Son of Taiwan.” Former President Chen Shui-bian and First Lady Wu Shu-chen were sentenced to life in prison by the Taipei District Court on Friday, nine years after Chen became the first politician from Taiwan’s long-time opposition Democratic Progressive Party () to take the island’s top post. Chen, 58, and his wife were both charged with embezzlement, bribery, money laundering and forgery and fined $15.3 million for their mishandling of a special state fund and deals. Chen’s son was also sentenced to two-and-a-half years for money laundering, and his daughter-in-law to one year and eight months.

[…] Chen was the first politician in Taiwan to work his way up from to the country’s highest office. Before entering politics, he was a maritime lawyer who defended Taiwan’s . After Taiwan formed its first opposition party, the DPP, in 1986, he was the first DPP politician to be elected president. During his two terms as president from 2000-2008, he promoted greater autonomy from China for the self-ruling island, but never declared de jure independence. In remarks published Thursday in Neo Formosa Weekly, a pro-independence magazine, Chen asserted that now is the best time to declare independence.

It’s not a very likely prospect. Taiwan’s current President Ma Ying-jeou’s friendly policy towards China has been a big contrast from Chen, who was often deemed a troublemaker. Since coming to office last May, Ma has forged closer economic ties with China through establishing direct transportation and opening up tourism and investment to the Chinese.

Read a report from China Daily.

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