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Taiwan high court dismisses ex-president Chen's appeal over replaced judges

[JURIST] Taiwan's Constitutional Court [official website, in Chinese] on Friday dismissed an appeal by former president Chen Shui-bian [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], who faces a life sentence [JURIST report] on corruption charges. Chen's appeal was based on a claim that his constitutional rights were violated when judges were replaced [AFP report] during the proceedings against him. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) [official website, in Chinese], previously led by Chen, has argued [press release] that the judicial process "contained flaws and disputes" that were in violation of procedural justice. Citing political bias, the DPP has demanded an end to Chen's detention and has called for the court to be "transparent and open."

An additional charge [JURIST report] was filed against Chen last month, after his conviction, alleging that he embezzled over $330,000. Last month, the Taipei District Court denied [JURIST report] Chen's request for release pending appeal. Chen has filed suit [JURIST report] against the three judges hearing his case, claiming that they were unjustly prolonging his detention. Chen was initially indicted [JURIST report] on the corruption charges in December. He 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.

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