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Taiwan ex-president Chen to be tried in closed-door proceedings Friday

[JURIST] A Taiwanese court said Monday that former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] will be tried Friday in closed-door proceedings. The High Court said that proceedings, set for 9:30 AM Friday, would be closed to the media [Xinhua report] under secrecy regulations. Chen was indicted [JURIST report] in September on corruption charges relating to funds he received while traveling abroad as president. He is accused of embezzling USD $330,000. Chen has maintained his innocence, claiming 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, who served as president of Taiwan from 2000-2008, and his wife have been serving life sentences [JURIST report] since September, when they were found guilty of embezzlement, receiving bribes, forgery, and money laundering. Taiwan's Constitutional Court [official website, in Chinese] dismissed an appeal [JURIST report] in October, in which Chen claimed that his constitutional rights were violated when judges were replaced during the proceedings against him. Last month, Chen, along with his wife and 20 other family members and prominent business leaders, was indicted [JURIST report] on additional charges of corruption and money laundering in relation to Chen's financial reform program. Chen and his wife are accused of taking bribes from banks and financial institutions that sought to protect themselves during the reform.

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