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Taiwan ex-president Chen sues judges over detention

[JURIST] Former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] filed suit Wednesday against the three judges hearing his corruption case, accusing them of illegally prolonging his detention. Chen, who was indicted [JURIST report] in December, faces possible life in prison on charges of embezzlement, receiving bribes, forgery, and money laundering. He has staged three hunger strikes in protest of the charges against him, and in January he unsuccessfully appealed [JURIST reports] his pretrial detention. Last month, Judges Tsai Shou-hsun, Wu Ding-ya, and Hsu Chien-hui denied a third bail request. Chen has accused the judges of abusing their power [Taiwan News report], keeping him in custody for revenge. Also this week, prosecutors rejected plea bargain requests [Taiwan News reports] from six of Chen's associates, including his son and daughter-in-law, who are also accused of corruption.

Last month, the court said that a verdict in the corruption cases will be delivered [JURIST report] on September 11. Chen has long argued that current Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou [official website; JURIST news archive] is using Chen's trial to distance himself from Chen's anti-China views. Chen called the proceedings against him "political persecution" when his trial began [JURIST report] in March. In February, Chen's wife, Wu Shu-Chen, pleaded guilty to charges [JURIST reports] of money-laundering and forgery, but denied charges that she embezzled from the presidential state affairs fund. Chen's sister-in-law has also pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to charges that she had forged documents and transferred money to bank accounts upon orders from Chen and Wu. Chen has asserted that he was unaware of Wu's actions. In September 2008, Chen was cleared [JURIST report] of separate defamation charges.

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