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Wife of Taiwan President on Trial for Corruption


The wife of Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian passed out during the opening session of her corruption trial, and has been taken to the hospital.

Television reports showed Wu Shu-chen being carried out of the court Friday and loaded into an ambulance outside the courthouse in the capital, Taipei.

It was unclear whether the wheelchair-bound first lady will return to court later Friday. There was no immediate word on Wu's medical status.

Shortly after the trial began today, she pleaded not guilty to charges of corruption and forgery. Wu was indicted last month for illegally claiming $450,000 in personal expenses from a presidential fund.

Prosecutors say they have enough evidence to prosecute the president as well, but can not do so because he is immune from prosecution while in office.

Both Mr. Chen and his wife deny any wrongdoing.

The trial is the latest test for the island's embattled president who has already faced and survived three recall motions over the past year. Mr. Chen says he will step down if his wife is convicted.

On Wednesday, the Taipei High Court sentenced a former adviser to the president Chen Che-nan to 12 years in prison on corruption charges. Another court is trying the president's son-in-law Chao Chien-ming on insider trading charges.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters

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