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SID closes money-laundering case against ex-President Lee
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-03-05 05:57 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Supreme Prosecutors Office Special Investigation Division closed a money-laundering case against ex-President Lee Teng-hui brought by ex-President Chen Shui-bian, reports said Wednesday.

While he was also under investigation for corruption in September 2008, Chen alleged that Lee had imported more than US$18 million (NT$545 million) and shortly later wired US$50 million (US$1.5 billion) back out of Taiwan.

According to the conclusions of the SID investigation, the allegations were based on a mistake made by the then-chief of the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau, Yeh Sheng-mao. He apparently mistakenly believed that the account belonged to Lee and had reported it as such to Chen.

The two people actually in charge of the funds, two former military police officers who later worked as bodyguards for a financier, said they did not know Lee and had not let him use the accounts.

The SID decided Wednesday that there was no case against the former president and therefore dropped the matter without filing charges.

Lee is still involved in another court case surrounding corruption allegations. The Taipei District Court ruled on November 15 that he had not diverted US$7.79 million (NT$250 million) in national security funds in order to buy offices for his Taiwan Research Institute in Tamshui, New Taipei City. A former close associate, Liu Tai-ying, was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.

The SID filed an appeal against Lee’s not-guilty verdict, and the case continued at the High Court last month. The 90-year-old former president said he had never pocketed any money but only wanted to do what was good for the nation. He condemned the SID for fishing up old cases in order to prosecute him.

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