The sister-in-law of former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian and a Taiwanese businessman pleaded guilty to money-laundering charges yesterday, becoming the eighth and ninth defendants to do so in the massive corruption case implicating the ex-leader. Chen Chun-ying also became the fourth family member to plead guilty since hearings started last month at Taipei District Court. 'I am guilty,' Chen Chun-ying told Judge Tsai Shou-hsun. The businessman, Kuo Chuan-ching, responding to a summons, also pleaded guilty to money-laundering charges. Chen Chun-ying's lawyer, Yeh Ta-hui, said his client had provided the dummy accounts into which the ex-president's wife, Wu Shu-chen, could wire money abroad. Mr Yeh sought a pardon in exchange for the guilty plea, but that was rejected by the prosecutors on the grounds that they were still investigating another corruption case allegedly involving the ex-president and his wife. Chen Chun-ying was charged in December with assisting the former first family in laundering US$1.84 million abroad. Kuo was charged in December with assisting the former first family in laundering more than US$15 million. He was also charged with offering NT$91.8 million (HK$21.8 million) in bribes to Wu in exchange for her help in winning a contract in late 2003 to build a government exhibition centre in Taipei. A hearing in the bribery case has yet to be scheduled, though Kuo has confessed that he gave the money to Wu through her close associate Tsai Ming-che. So far, nine of the 14 defendants - including Chen Shui-bian's son, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law and sister-in-law - have pleaded guilty. The latest twist has left Chen Shui-bian's lawyers admitting that building a defence for their client will be highly challenging. Wu's two-day hearing is set to begin on Tuesday; hearings for two other key aides, Ma Yung-cheng and Lin Te-hsun, are set for February 17; and Chen Shui-bian's three-day hearing is set to begin on February 24. The 14th defendant - Tsai Mei-li, eldest sister of Tsai Ming-che and his brother, Tsai Ming-chieh, who have already confessed - is in the final stages of a terminal disease and unable to go to court. Cheng Wen-lung, one of the former president's three lawyers, has said he feels his client might lose, and another lawyer, Cheng Sheng-cho, has resigned citing health concerns. A legal adviser to Chen Shui-bian while he was president, Chuang Po-lin, criticised the decision of the ex-president's son Chen Chih-chung and daughter-in-law Huang Jui-ching to plead guilty. He said if the funds were left over from previous campaign donations, they were legal, and the charges against the former presidential couple could not be legally established. On Wednesday, Chen Chih-chung said he and his wife would not retract their guilty pleas.