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Hearings opened again on former KMT chairman's corruption case
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The High Court of Taiwan heard the alleged embezzlement case of former Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou' again on Friday, Taiwan's local media said.

On Friday, another two witnesses including Shih Su-mei, commissioner of Taipei City's Budget, Accounting and Statistics Department were questioned in court.

This second trial started on Oct. 5, nearly two months after Ma was cleared by a lower court on Aug. 14. Prosecutors in Taipei successfully appealed to the High Court of Taiwan against the acquittal of Ma.

In August 2006, legislators from Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) accused Ma of misusing "expense funds" for senior civil servants and politicians.

Ma was accused of misusing more than 11 million New Taiwan dollars (US$330,000) in expense funds during his tenure as mayor of Taipei.

Ma resigned as chairman of the KMT, Taiwan's leading opposition party, after being indicted on Feb. 13, but declared that he would run for the 2008 Taiwan leader election.

The Kuomintang Party (KMT) endorsed Ma as its candidate for Taiwan leader in the 2008 election on June 24. Ma has made Vincent Siew, a veteran economist, his running mate.

The expense funds, also known as special allowance funds, are allocated by the Taiwan authorities to executive officers. Official receipts are required for half of the funds. The spending of the other half only requires the signature of the official.

(Xinhua News Agency November 3, 2007)

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