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Ex-president's benefits to continue despite indictment
By Deborah Kuo
Central News Agency
2008-12-12 09:00 PM
Taipei, Dec. 12 (CNA) Former President Chen Shui-bian will continue to receive his retirement benefits despite being indicted Friday on money-laundering and corruption charges, according to a Presidential Office source.

Chen will continue to receive the benefits former presidents are entitled to, including a monthly pension of NT$250,000 (US$7,485) and reimbursement of expenses for an office staff and chauffeur, unless he is convicted and has exhausted all avenues for appeal, the source said.

According to the law governing the benefits of retired presidents and vice presidents, ex-presidents receive NT$8 million in overall retirement benefits in their first year after leaving office.

The amount declines annually and falls to NT$5 million by the fourth year of their retirement and stays at that level for the rest of their lives.

In addition, Chen, as a former president, is entitled to have eight to 12 bodyguards provided by the National Security Bureau and the number of bodyguards can be added if necessary, according to the law.

The Presidential Office calculated recently that the year-end bonus that Chen will be receiving soon totals NT$507,688.

In related news, the Presidential Office would not comment on Chen's indictment Friday, saying only that the government respects all decisions made by the judiciary.

The Special Investigation Division under the Supreme Prosecutors Office asked in its 209-page indictment that judges of the Taipei District Court give the former president "the harshest penalty" and requested that Chen continue to be detained pending probes into other criminal cases in which he may be implicated.

The prosecutors also recommended "harsh penalties" for some of the other notables indicted, including Chen's wife Wu Shu-jen, his son Chen Chih-chung, his daughter-in-law Huang Jui-ching.

They also formally charged 10 other individuals for their involvement in the former first family's alleged corruption and money-laundering schemes.

The charges are related to Chen's handling of his discretionary "state affairs fund" during his two terms as president from 2000-2008 and the movement of funds through proxies to overseas accounts held by Chen's wife, son and daughter-in-law.

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