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Jailed Ex-Taiwanese President on Hunger Strike


The lawyer for ex-Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian says his client has begun a hunger strike to protest his arrest on several counts of official corruption.

Mr. Chen was detained Wednesday over allegations of graft, bribery, illegal possession of state assets, and other offenses that he says are politically motivated. He was jailed after several hours of questioning.

Attorney Cheng Wen-long says the former president is staging his hunger strike to call attention to the "death" of justice in Taiwan, and the regression of democracy on the self-ruled island.

The pro-independence Mr. Chen has accused his successor, Ma Ying-jeou, of bringing the charges to appease China. Mr. Ma succeeded Mr. Chen in May on a platform of improving relations with Beijing.

President Ma has denied his predecessor's charges. A spokeswoman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office has rejected Mr. Chen's allegation that China was involved in the arrest.

Mr. Chen's wife, Wu Shu-chen, is under investigation in the same case.

His wife is also accused of embezzling more than $400,000 from a special presidential fund in a case dating back two years.

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


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