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September 26, 2017

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Chen challenges judges in court

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Chen Shui-bian, the former president standing trial, was at his defense lawyer best at his first hearing at the Taipei District Court yesterday.

He challenged judges and prosecutors, while denying all charges of forgery, corruption, graft and money laundering.

"Today, I am in your hands," President Chen told presiding judge Tsai Shou-hsun in court, referring also to two other charges and Special Counsel prosecutors, who indicted him on November 23 last year.

But history will try the judges and prosecutors in the future, he predicted.

"At a people's court in the future in the torrent flow of history," President Chen said, "the prosecutors, the presiding judge and other judges certainly will be tried again."

Prosecutors charged Chen with laundering at least US$20,748,307 out of the public fund under Chen's control for the conduct of affairs of state.

"How do you plead?" Tsai asked Chen.

Instead of a plea, Chen fired a broadside at three prosecutors of the Special Counsel: Chu Chao-liang, Wu Wen-chung and Yueh Fang-ju.

"All three of them were political tools," Chen charged. They helped Ma Ying-jeou the Kuomintang candidate, he said.

Wu prevented Chang Wei-tsin from handing over to Frank Hsieh, the Democratic Progressive Party standard bearer, a photo of Ma posing with her divorced husband, a black entertainer named Chocolate, Chen alleged. He seems to hint Ma is gay.

Cheng Wen-tsan, DPP secretary-general who serves as Hsieh's campaign manager, refuted the Chen allegation at a press conference he called after the hearing.

Hsieh was not spared Chen's ire, either. "I gave him NT$20 million," he claimed.

The money was given as "donation," Chen said. He didn't say it came from the state affairs fund, however. Hsieh denied receipt of the cash contribution. "President Chen spent that money," he declared.

Chu was accused of refusing to investigate Lee Teng-hui, though he knew the former president was bribed by the Chinese Communists. "He also urged me to support Tsai Ing-wen for DPP chairwoman," Chen added.

Yueh asked Tsai to ask President Chen to pardon Yu Wen, a office cashier convicted of forgery to help Ma abuse his expense account to which he was entitled as mayor of Taipei.

"I didn't pardon Yu," Chen said. Yu was sentenced to one year in prison.

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