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Taiwan high court withdraws decision to release Chen Shui-bian
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Taiwan's High Court Wednesday withdrew a court decision to release the island's former leader Chen Shui-bian after his indictment on corruption charges, a day after the prosecutors submitted an appeal.

The case was handed back to the Taipei district court, which would hold the hearing again on whether to detain Chen.

The Taipei district court will decide the date of hearing after receiving the files from the high court, said Huang Chun-min, the district court spokesman.

Chen Yun-nan, director of the Special Investigation Panel (SIP) under Taiwan's prosecution authorities, said it welcomed and respected the high court's verdict.

The Taipei district court released Chen early Saturday morning without bail on his own recognizance but banned him from leaving the island, after the prosecutors indicted him on Friday for money laundering and taking bribes during his eight years in office, which ended in May.

Chen had been in custody for investigation since Nov. 12.

Chen and his wife were alleged to have embezzled 104 million New Taiwan dollars (3.15 million U.S. dollars) in public funds and accepted bribes of about 9 million U.S. dollars in a land purchase deal.

His wife was also alleged to have taken a kickback of 2.7 million U.S. dollars from a construction project, according to prosecutors.

Their son, daughter-in-law and 10 others were also said to have assisted in concealing the crime and remitting the money to overseas bank accounts.

Taiwan prosecutors have said earlier that they were seeking "the severest punishment" for Chen.

They also recommended a heavy sentence for his wife Wu for "using her status to interfere in politics and rake in money and undermining the system."

(Xinhua News Agency December 18, 2008)

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