Second Former Taiwan President Faces Graft Charges

Posted June 30th, 2011 at 2:55 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui has been indicted on charges of official corruption.

Mr. Lee and Liu Tia-ying, his top aide, were charged Thursday with embezzling $7.79 million from a diplomatic fund during his 1988-2000 tenure in office.

The 88-year-old Mr. Lee is one of the leading figures of Taiwan history, widely credited with moving the island from autocratic rule to democracy. He became Taiwan's first directly elected president in 1996.

He was expelled from the Kuomintang Party after leaving office in 2000 when he threw his support behind pro-independence forces.

Mr. Lee's successor, Chen Shui-bian, is currently serving a 17-year jail term after being convicted on charges of official graft. Mr. Chen, who angered Beijing with his pro-independence stance, has claimed he was the target of his successor, Ma Ying-jeou, who has pursued a more friendly policy towards China.