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Taiwan prosecutors appeal corruption acquittal of opposition leader

[JURIST] Taiwanese prosecutors filed an appeal Wednesday to a decision by the Taiwan High Court [official website] last month upholding the acquittal [JURIST report] of former Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou [personal website, in Chinese] on graft charges. Prosecutors hope that the Taiwan Supreme Court will clarify the legality of the Taiwanese system that allows high-ranking public officials access to special funds.

Ma was acquitted earlier this year by a lower court on charges [JURIST reports] that he diverted $333,000 of public money into his private back account. Prosecutors appealed the verdict and brought an additional breach of trust charge against Ma, but were unsuccessful in both efforts. Ma has denied the charges [JURIST report], arguing that the practice was legitimate because he used the money to fund municipal events and pay city employees. He is currently running in the Taiwanese presidential elections to be held in March 2008. AFP has more.

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