Former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian made shocking allegations at his pretrial hearing yesterday against his predecessor, Lee Teng-hui, and Taiwan's current leader, Ma Ying-jeou, alleging Mr Ma had an intimate relationship with a black man. Questioning the impartiality of the judicial system under Mr Ma's government, Chen criticised three prosecutors for being lenient on Mr Ma and Mr Lee, but harsh to him and other politicians of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party. Chen, who faces embezzlement and bribery charges, pleaded not guilty in his hearing. 'Wu Den-yi [KMT secretary general] had made a preemptive move' during the run-up to the presidential election last year, Chen told three judges in the Taipei District Court. 'That was if anyone heard that Ma Ying-jeou and a foreigner, or a black man, had an intimate relationship, don't be surprised,' Chen said. He was referring to a rumour about video footage on a CD, held by a woman, of the alleged behaviour of Mr Ma and a former American male entertainer dubbed 'Chocolate'. Chen alleged that the video had never been used against Mr Ma during the run-up to the March presidential election because Wu Wen-chung, one of the prosecutors who charged him with corruption, had warned the woman against releasing it. He suggested that the prosecutor later informed the Ma camp about the video, prompting the KMT secretary general to stress that the alleged relationship was fake and aimed at hurting Mr Ma, and should be laughed off as a groundless rumour. Chen also alleged that another prosecutor, Chu Chao-kuei, failed to investigate the alleged acceptance of NT$200 million to NT$300 million in funds that the mainland had offered to Mr Lee and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU). His accusations prompted angry rebuttals. 'I just couldn't have imagined he could have made up such farcical plots. I suggest that he be sent to the mental hospital,' KMT legislator Chen Chieh said. Wu Den-yi sternly denied he had ever made those remarks about the video, while DPP legislator Lee Chun-yi said he had never heard about the CD. 'Chocolate or cream, I have no idea. I only know that I send my wife chocolate,' he said. Both the TSU and Mr Lee's office rejected the accusations, saying they were 'absolutely absurd'.