A top US envoy to Taiwan says Washington has no intention of interfering in the trial of Chen Shui-bian, dealing a fresh blow to the graft-tainted former Taiwanese president. William Stanton, the new US representative in Taiwan, said yesterday his meeting with the island's justice minister, Wang Ching-feng, was misinterpreted by the media as being pressure from Washington for Chen's release. 'I simply noted that there have been some people in the US commenting about the trial of the former president,' Stanton said, referring to his September 30 meeting with Wang. 'I certainly did not advocate any particular view on the issue.' Chen, convicted of corruption on September 11 and sentenced to life in prison, has been held at Taipei Detention Centre since he was indicted on graft charges in December. His supporters have sought US intervention, saying the government has seriously violated human rights by continuing to detain Chen since he was indicted. Stanton's meeting with Wang had raised hopes that Chen would be released on bail. In his first news conference since assuming his post in August, Stanton said his meeting with Wang had nothing to do with the issue. Rather, they discussed the possibility of an extradition treaty between the US and Taiwan, and of a training programme for Taiwanese judges and prosecutors. He said it was unlikely the US administration would become involved in the trial and he had only briefly mentioned comments by some Americans on the issue during his introductory meeting with Wang. As a diplomat with more than 31 years in the foreign service, he said he would never say anything that would lead others into thinking that the US was sticking its nose into the internal affairs of Taiwan. His comments dashed the hopes of Chen drawing US attention to his case and pushing for his release. Chen has been trying to get bail. In a bizarre move he even tried to sue US President Barack Obama for failing to uphold US military jurisdiction over Taiwan in an attempt to avoid trial. He said the Taipei administration was just a 'government in exile' with no power to deal with his case, given that Taiwan was still technically under US military control since Japan was defeated in 1945. Meanwhile, Stanton eased Taiwan's fears that Obama could sacrifice the island's interests during his planned visit to the mainland next month where he is due to meet President Hu Jintao . Stanton said although it would be Obama's first trip to China as president, he did not think there would be any change in US-Taiwan relations after the visit. 'US policy under the Obama administration towards Taiwan has not changed,' Stanton said. 'I don't think we can expect any surprise in that regard.'