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Taiwan lawmaker tied to Chen indicted on corruption charges

[JURIST] Taiwanese lawmaker Gao Jyh-peng of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) [party website] led by beleaguered Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian [official profile; BBC profile] was indicted Monday on graft charges. Prosecutors allege that Gao, a close acquaintance of Chen, accepted $15,300 worth of New Taiwan dollars to help a company rent state-owned land. Gao disclaimed any involvement in the scandal, and blamed the charges on an aide who was arrested earlier this year for his involvement in the same corruption scandal.

The indictment is the latest in a series of high-profile corruption cases that have dominated Taiwanese politics in recent months. Last month, Taiwanese prosecutors indicted Vice President Annette Lu [official profile] and two other leading members of the DPP on charges of corruption and forgery [JURIST report]. 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. 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. AP has more.

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