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Taiwan corruption trial of opposition presidential candidate begins

[JURIST] The Taiwan High Court [official website, English version] opened proceedings Friday in the corruption trial of Ma Ying-jeou [personal website, in Chinese], the opposition presidential candidate in the 2008 Taiwanese presidential election. Ma was acquitted [JURIST report] of the corruption charges by the Taipei District Court, but the Taipei High Prosecutors Office [official website, English version] appealed that decision to the High Court.

Ma was indicted [JURIST report] in February, but has consistently denied the charges [JURIST report] that he engaged in corruption while serving as mayor of Taipei. He is accused of misappropriating a special discretionary expense fund for his personal use, but Ma has argued that his actions were legitimate because he used the money to fund municipal events and pay city employees. Allegations of corruption have recently been raised against other Taiwanese officials, including Vice President Annette Lu [JURIST report]. AFP has more. Radio Taiwan International has local coverage.

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