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Prosecutor Expects Trial of Taiwan Leader's Wife to End in June
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The trial against Wu Shu-chen, wife of Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian, who is facing charges of graft, is likely to be concluded in mid-June, chief prosecutor Chang Hsi-huai said on Friday at the ninth session of the high-profile trial.

"The case is not complicated at all," said Chang. "If the examination of all the receipts goes smoothly, the trial will end around China's Dragon Boat Festival (June 19)."

Wu was once again absent from court on Friday, the eighth consecutive time she has claimed to be too ill to attend.

Friday's trial continued the examination of more than 2,000 receipts in the case, comparing the originals with copies obtained by lawyers. Wu's absence did not affect proceedings, said the prosecutor.

Wu feinted during the first session of her trial on December 15. She is accused of embezzlement, forgery of documents and perjury, involving 14.8 million New Taiwan dollars (US$448,500). She has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Prosecutors also claim they have evidence to indict Chen Shui-bian on charges of graft and forgery of documents in connection with a secret office fund, but his status as leader renders him immune from criminal charges and a formal indictment against him will have to wait until the end of his term of office in 2008.

(Xinhua News Agnecy March 3, 2007)

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