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Taiwan VP indicted on corruption, forgery charges

[JURIST] Taiwanese prosecutors Friday indicted Vice President Annette Lu [official profile] and two other leading members of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) [party website] on charges of corruption and forgery. Lu, DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun, and former foreign minister Chen Tan-sun are accused of using their positions as public servants to claim special expenses with false receipts. The anti-corruption task force has accused Lu of claiming 5.6 million Taiwan dollars in special expenses using more than 1,000 false receipts from December 2000 to May 2006 in her capacity as vice president. Yu and Chen stand accused of similar charges. The three politicians could face a minimum of 14 years in prison if convicted on all charges. AFP has more.

The indictments are the latest in a series of high-profile corruption cases that have dominated Taiwanese politics in recent months. Former Taiwanese opposition party leader Ma Ying-jeou [personal website, in Chinese; Wikipedia profile] was acquitted [JURIST report] of corruption and accounting fraud charges by the Taipei District Court [official website, in Chinese] in August. The court ruled that there was no evidence that Ma misappropriated a special discretionary expense fund for his personal use during his term as the mayor of Taipei [government website, English version]. The investigation against Ma began after high-profile allegations of insider trading and corruption emerged against Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian [BBC profile] and several relatives. In June, a high court affirmed the conviction [JURIST report] of Chen's son-in-law on insider trading charges. Chen's wife, Wu Shu-chen, was indicted [JURIST report] last year for embezzlement and falsifying documents. Prosecutors have indicated that they have enough evidence to also indict Chen, but Chen enjoys Article 52 [text] constitutional immunity from most criminal charges while he remains in office.

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