Ex-Taiwan President Chen Sentenced to Life
By Natalie Tso /
It was a dramatic fall from grace for the man once called the "Son of Taiwan." Former President Chen Shui-bian and First Lady Wu Shu-chen were sentenced to life in prison by the Taipei District Court on Friday, nine years after Chen became the first politician from
Chen, who has been held at the
As they were awaiting the judge's ruling, over a hundred of Chen's supporters held yellow banners that read "Free A-bian [Chen's nickname]" outside the court. Some have threatened action if he will continue to be detained. "His detention is a controversy," says political commentator Antonio Chiang, "because he was only charged with corruption, not murder, and is a former president."
Prosecutors said they detained him last year because they feared he would collude with other suspects. Chen has maintained that he is a victim of "political persecution" by the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), which favors closer ties with
Chen was the first politician in
It's not a very likely prospect.