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Prosecutors end pursuit of ex-President Lee Teng-hui in corruption case

TAIPEI -- Prosecutors have decided not to appeal a verdict by the Taiwan High Court last week that found former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) not guilty of corruption and money laundering between 1998 and 2000 when he was still president.

The Special Investigation Division (SID, 特偵組) of the Supreme Prosecutors Office said Friday that it will not appeal because the case now hinges on the Criminal Speedy Trial Act.

The law stipulates that any not-guilty verdict at both the district court and high court levels can only be appealed by prosecutors if the law or order applied in the judgment is unconstitutional; the judgment violates an interpretation by the Judicial Yuan; or the judgment contradicts precedent.

The 91-year-old Lee and his close confidant Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英), who was chief financier of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) during Lee's presidency, were indicted in June 2011 on charges of corruption, embezzlement and money laundering.

SID prosecutors alleged that US$7.79 million was diverted from a secret fund operated by the National Security Bureau in the late 1990s to finance the Taiwan Research Institute, a private research organization that had been established by Liu in 1994.

The high court sentenced Liu to three years in prison for embezzling public funds and ordered him to return US$150,000 acquired through criminal acts to state coffers.

Liu's case can be appealed.

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