Former Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian was back in prison on corruption charges
following a verdict by the Taipei District Court.
The court delivered its verdict this morning after a 12-hourhearing.
Chen was taken back to jail at 3:50 am today but the court verdict allowed
him to meet his lawyer and family.
The court said it feared that if Chen were free he could commit serious
crimes and could tamper with witnesses and evidence or even abscond.
Chen and his wife were charged with embezzling 104 million New Taiwan dollars
(US$3.15 million) in public funds and accepting bribes of about US$9 million in
a land purchase deal.
At the beginning of the yesterday hearing, Chen's lawyer requested the
withdrawal of the judge to prevent the trial from being carried out. But the
request was overruled.
The district court had earlier agreed twice to release Chen without bail.
Prosecutors successfully challenged the verdicts twice in a higher court.
Chen was first indicted by prosecutors on Dec. 12 for money laundering and
taking bribes during his eight years in office, which ended in May. Chen had
been in custody for investigation since Nov. 12.
The district court decided to release him without bail on Dec 13, but banned
him from leaving the island. Prosecutors appealed his release on Dec. 16, and
the high court's first overruling followed on Dec. 17.
The second appeal was made last Thursday after the district court again
released Chen without bail on Dec. 18.
The district court appointed Tsai Shou-hsum to the case. He is also presiding
judge of corruption case against Chen's wife.