The fate of former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian will be decided on September 11, Taipei District Court announced yesterday. The court said it would spend two more weeks hearing evidence in the corruption case centred on Chen. The case involves more than 15 people, including his wife Wu Shu-chen, son Chen Chih-chung, daughter-in-law Huang Jui-ching and brother-in-law Wu Chin-mao. Chen Shui-bian, 58, and his wife were charged with embezzling NT$104 million (HK$24.6 million) in special state funds, taking NT$400 million in bribes, money laundering and other offences during his term as president between 2000 and last year. The court said judges would spend about a month deciding the ex-president's verdict. He could face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, court officials said. Chen Shui-bian has been held at Taipei Detention Centre since December 30, and his trial began on March 26. He has denied all the charges, calling his detention and trial political persecution by the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou of the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang. On Tuesday, the island's High Court rejected an appeal by the ex-president against a ruling extending his detention on the corruption charges. The Taipei District Court last week also rejected his bail application for a third time, saying he might try to flee the island, prompting him to appeal to the High Court. Chen Shui-bian insisted he was not guilty, and if released was not likely to collude with other defendants, destroy evidence or flee Taiwan. But the High Court said several defendants had pleaded guilty and 'witness records and evidence are sufficient to back up the prosecutors' allegation that Chen is gravely suspected'. This month, Chen Chih-chung admitted he had helped his mother launder funds abroad when testifying against his father for the first time. Chen Chih-chung said he and his wife, Huang Jui-ching, opened two Swiss bank accounts in 2007 at the instruction of his mother, who allegedly wired US$21 million to the accounts. Besides Chen Chih-chung and his wife, the former president's brother-in-law and three other defendants involved in Chen Shui-bian's case have also pleaded guilty to money laundering. The case has gripped the island since its start. About a week before the confession of their son, Wu had asked her husband to plead guilty to corruption to get linked charges against their son and daughter-in-law lifted. Wu pleaded guilty to money-laundering charges and admitted that she accepted NT$200 million from a businessman - money she insisted was a political contribution.