Taiwan ex-president says he faces arrest

Other News Materials 11 November 2008 08:22 (UTC +04:00)

Former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian said he expected to be arrested after being questioned over alleged corruption at prosecutors' offices Tuesday, and police surrounded the building as dozens of his supporters gathered, CNN reports.

Chen, who insists he is innocent of the charges, has been the object of a six-month probe into allegations he laundered money and made illegal use of a special presidential fund during his eight years in office that ended in May.

He said late Monday he expected to be arrested after he meets with investigators.

Prosecutors had no immediate comment on Chen's remarks, though they were expected to make an announcement on his fate later Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday before entering the prosecutors' office, Chen said his probable arrest was linked to attempts by newly installed Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou to placate China, following violent protests last week against a visiting Chinese envoy.

"Long live Taiwanese democracy," Chen declared to his supporters outside the prosecutor's office. "Long live Taiwanese independence."

Chen is an ardent supporter of Taiwanese independence, a cause decried by Beijing, which insists that Taiwan is part of Chinese territory, and has threatened war if the island moves to make its 59-year break with the mainland permanent.

Several dozen activists shouted slogans of support for Chen, while a heavy contingent of police were deployed around the building.

Two of Chen's senior advisers have already have been arrested in the case.