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Taiwan first lady indicted on corruption charges

[JURIST] The first lady of Taiwan [JURIST news archive] has been indicted on charges of embezzling $448,000 in state funds and falsifying documents. The state prosecutor's office says there is enough evidence of wrongdoing to also indict her husband President Chen Shui-bian [official profile, BBC profile], but Article 52 of the constitution [text] specifically grants Chen immunity from criminal prosecution with the exception of acts of treason or rebellion until he has been recalled, relieved of his functions, or leaves office at the end of his term in 2008. The acts allegedly took place between July 2002 and March 2006, and three of Chen's former aides have also been indicted for their participation. Chen's son-in-law and former top advisor also face indictments for corruption.

The indictment of Wu Shu-chen has fueled ongoing protests [BBC report] in Taiwan involving tens of thousands of people calling for Chen's resignation. Last month, a second attempt at holding a referendum [JURIST report] on whether to oust Chen was defeated in parliament. The New York Times has more. Asia Times Online has additional coverage.

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