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Former Taiwan Leader Ma Ying-jeou Goes on Trial
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Ma Ying-jeou, former leader of Taiwan's main opposition party Kuomintang (KMT), went on trial in Taipei on Tuesday on charges of corruption.

"I will face the charge with a plain and calm attitude. I have confidence in my innocence and put my faith in the justice of the court," Ma was quoted by local media as saying.

Before the session opened, a mass of Ma's supporters gathered outside the court and were involved in skirmishes with supporters of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

Taiwan prosecutors indicted Ma on charges of corruption on Feb. 13, accusing him of diverting 11 million New Taiwan dollars (US$333,000) from Taipei mayor's special allowance funds to his private account during his tenure as Taipei mayor.

Ma resigned as KMT chairman after the indictment but immediately declared for the first time that he would run for the 2008 Taiwan leader election.

(Xinhua News Agency April 3, 2007)

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