When former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian's trial on corruption charges starts on Thursday, his son will not testify in court for him. And following a ruling by a judge yesterday, neither will three current and former leaders whom Chen wanted to summons, including Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou. Chen, in Taipei District Court yesterday for another pretrial hearing, asked his lawyer, Cheng Wen-lung, to withdraw his request that his son, Chen Chih-chung, testify in court. 'We believe the son's testimony would be to our client's advantage, but because of the speculation that our request for the son's presence was proof of bad relations between the father and son, we thus decided to drop the request,' Mr Cheng said. Chen Shui-bian, who has been held at the Taipei Detention Centre since late December, has been charged along with his wife, Wu Shu-chen, with embezzling NT$104 million (HK$24 million) in special state funds, accepting NT$498 million in bribes and laundering at least US$37 million abroad. Mr Cheng sought summonses for 40 witnesses, including Mr Ma, former president Lee Teng-hui and former vice-president Lien Chan. He said forcing them to testify in court was vital to Chen Shui-bian's case. Mr Cheng told the court: 'In Ma Ying-jeou's case, we have learned that he also used others' receipts, including those for his family spending, expenses by his daughter, ladies' underwear, medical bills for his dog and feed - all mixing up with both public and personal purposes - to account for his funding claims.' Mr Ma was charged with embezzling special monthly allowances while he was Taipei's mayor between 1998 and 2006. He was acquitted when the court ruled that because he did not ask his aides to provide receipts for him to account for his expenses, he had spent more for public than personal purposes. Chen Shui-bian said his case was no different from that of Mr Ma, and the president should testify. He said Mr Lee and Mr Lien had also used special state funds. He attacked the integrity of prosecutors, saying it was highly inappropriate for prosecutor Chen Jui-jen to socialise with Mr Lee right after questioning him on how he accounted for his expenses. Chen Shui-bian also wanted a summons for prosecutor Yueh Fang-yu, alleging that she might have made a secret deal to persuade a former banker to return to Taiwan to testify against him. Judge Tsai Shou-hsun rejected his request to summons the four, saying they were irrelevant to the case. But the judge approved a prosecution request to subpoena Chen Shui-bian's mother-in-law, Wang Hsia. 'My mother-in-law is already 83 years old and is not clear of mind,' the former president said. 'How can you expect her to say anything?' Ms Wang, not a defendant in the case, was used as a proxy by Wu to wire money abroad.