Chen aide implicated in Taiwan graft case
A chief aide to former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian has been listed as a defendant in a snowballing US$21 million money-laundering scandal.
Lin Teh-hsun, Mr Chen's chief secretary from 2005 to this year and director of the former president's office, became a defendant after prosecutors questioned him as a witness yesterday for four hours.
As a listed defendant, Mr Lin may not leave the country.
'The prosecutors also filed a request with the court for permission to detain him out of concern that he might tamper with evidence related to the case if freed,' said Chen Yun-nan, spokesman for a special investigation taskforce under the Supreme Prosecutors Office.
The request was pending last night.
Mr Lin is the second of Mr Chen's close aides to be listed as a defendant following the detention of Chen Cheng-hui, a chief treasurer of the former president.
So far, nine people have been listed as defendants in the case, including Mr Chen, his wife Wu Shu-chen, his son Chen Chih-chung, his daughter-in-law Huang Jui-ching, his brother-in-law Wu Ching-mao, his former treasurer Chen Cheng-hui, and two of his wife's associates, identified as Tsai Ming-tse and his brother Tsai Ming-chieh.
All are being investigated for alleged corruption and money- laundering.
Prosecutors said Mr Lin was responsible for approving expense claims related to a special state fund allocated to Mr Chen for public spending during his 2000-2008 presidency.
Mr Chen's office sternly rejected the allegations yesterday, saying he never took a cent from the government or the private sector for personal use. It also criticised prosecution authorities for deliberately leaking unfounded remarks and speculation to subject him to trial by public opinion.
Mr Chen also said that he was 'well aware' that he was the victim of a political witch-hunt launched by his successor, Ma Ying-jeou of the mainland-friendly Kuomintang, who wanted to shift the public attention away from his failure to improve the island's economy.