Lawyers for former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian yesterday spent hours questioning the credibility of testimony used by prosecutors in the graft charges against the ex-leader. In the second day of a three-day pre-trial hearing that began on Tuesday, his lawyers attacked testimony obtained from 17 defendants and witnesses. The testimony was from Chen's wife, Wu Shu-chen, son Chen Chih-chung, daughter-in-law Huang Jui-ching, brother-in-law Wu Ching-mao and sister-in-law Chen Chun-ying. 'Using the testimony of Wu Shu-chen as evidence is not acceptable,' Shih Yi-lin, one of the three lawyers for Chen, told the court. Chen, who has been in custody at the Taipei Detention Centre since late December, was charged along with his wife with embezzling NT$104 million (HK$24 million) in special state funds, accepting NT$400 million in bribes through a land deal, money laundering and other offences. Two weeks ago, his wife pleaded guilty to money laundering and forgery. She also confessed that she had accepted NT$200 million from a businessman who was eager to sell a plot of land to the government. But she said the money was a political contribution. In the indictment issued in mid-December, prosecutors said the land deal was struck after Wu asked her husband to pressure government agencies for approval of the deal. Mr Shih, however, said the prosecutors could not use Wu's confession as evidence against Chen on the grounds that the ex-president and his lawyer had not been present. Also, he said, prosecutors failed to ask Chen to provide his opinions or cross-examine Wu. The defence lawyers' presentation was apparently so tedious that Chen dozed off at times. Legal experts said the lengthy presentation was a tactic to delay Chen's formal trial. 'It was simply a delaying tactic to try to drag the hearing on indefinitely so that the court would not be able to hand down the sentences against him quickly,' lawyer Chuang Hsiu-ming said. An annoyed Tsai Shou-hsun, head of the panel of three judges, tried in vain to cut the lawyers' statements short. Eventually he said that, because of the serious delay in the proceedings, the court would have to hold further pretrial hearings on March 4, 10, 11 and 18. He said the delay would only prolong Chen's detention. Chen was brought before the court in handcuffs for a second straight day. Appearing weary and with a weak voice, he told the court he had not slept much the night before and felt out of breath. The hearing was far less lively than Tuesday's, when Chen alleged that Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou had an intimate relationship with an African-American man nicknamed 'Chocolate'.