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Former Taiwan first lady sentenced to year in prison for obstructing justice

[JURIST] The Taipei District Court [official site, in Chinese] sentenced former Taiwanese first lady Wu Shu-Chen to one year in prison for obstructing justice in a corruption case against her. Wu Shu-Chen, wife of embattled former president Chen Shui-bian [JURIST news archive], was found guilty of instructing her children on how to respond to investigators. Though initially sentenced to two years in prison, Wu's sentence was reduced due to her confession [Taiwan News report]. Her son, daughter, and son-in-law have also been sentenced to six months each in jail for saying that they had taken money out of a government fund for gifts for their parents, when in fact the money had been used for personal purposes. Wu's case is also entangled with the allegations against her husband, who is on trial for embezzlement and bribe-taking. A verdict for him, as well as further verdicts for Wu, are expected on September 11 [JURIST report].

Wu pleaded guilty to money-laundering charges [JURIST report] in February. In addition to the former first couple, prosecutors have indicted their son and daughter-in-law, three former presidential aides, and eight other associates and family members. Also in February, Chen's sister-in-law 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 been detained since his arrest in November, and in January Taiwan's High Court rejected his appeal of the decision to detain him [JURIST reports] while he awaits trial, citing him as a flight risk.

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