Taiwan's ex-president faces arrest for corruption

Other News Materials 11 November 2008 12:26 (UTC +04:00)

Former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian has said he expects to be arrested after being questioned over alleged corruption at the prosecutor's office on Tuesday, and police surrounded the building as dozens of his supporters gathered, reproted AP.

Speaking to reporters before entering the office Tuesday, 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.

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

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

He said late Monday he expected to be arrested after his Tuesday meeting with investigators. Prosecutors had no immediate comment, though they were expected to make an announcement on his fate later Tuesday.

Chen 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.

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

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