Former Taiwanese president jailed for life on corruption charges

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Chen Shui-bian in September 2005

Chen Shui-bian, the former president of Taiwan, has been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted on charges of corruptions.

The Taipei District Court found Chen guilty of embezzling over US$3 million from a presidential affairs fund. The ex-president was also convicted of having accepted $9 million worth of bribes connected with government land deals.

Chen's wife, Wu Shu-chen, the former first lady, was also jailed for life.

Several hundred demonstrators protesting against Chen's conviction were outside the court, some of which threw bottles and other objects at law enforcement after the court had announced the verdict.

Chen was president of Taiwan from 2000 until 2008. He frequently conflicted with Chinese leaders by asserting Taiwan's independence from the former.

China claims Taiwan is a breakaway province and says it will forcefully retake the island if it attempts to formally gain independence.