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Jan 22, 2009

And today's big story...

Chen Shui-bian relatives plead guilty


David said...

I feel a bit confused by this news. Did they actually plead guilty or just admit to transferring the funds? There is a large difference. Don't prosecutors need to prove the funds were obtained illegally before they make charges of money laundering? The media reports I have read don't seem to explain this at all.

阿牛 said...

They did plead guilty to the laundering charges and are going through a plea bargain process now.

Tim Maddog said...

A-gu, you say "they did plead guilty to the laundering charges," but the Taipei Times article to which you linked says this:
- - -
A judge has to accept a statement before it can constitute a formal plea, a court spokesman said.
- - -

... implying that a formal plea has not been made. Did something happen subsequently?

You might also want to re-read Echo's earlier post related to this topic, and see what you think is going on behind the scenes here.

Tim Maddog

Haitien said...

Maybe I'm just confused, but according to the media reports, it seems they simply admitted that they wired funds abroad, which might or might not have been illegally obtained. In otherwords, they're basically saying exactly what Chen admitted to back in August.

阿牛 said...

I thank both Tim and Maddog for the clarifications; it seems there is a formal plea lacking, that they are admitting to guilt, and that Haitien is right in that they're not admitting the money was illegally obtained, just that it was illegally sent abroad.

Tommy said...

A Gu, if I understand correctly yesterday's Taipei Times article about this (my Chinese not yet being up to my strict standards), they didn't even admit technically to doing anything illegal. They said that if the money was illegally obtained, then they transferred it illegally.

From TT: "'I didn’t differentiate clearly between laundering money and handling funds,” Chen Chih-chung told reporters in the lobby of the court building after the two-hour hearing.'"

"Chen Chih-chung said that Wu Shu-jen would donate all the money to charity IF INVESTIGATIONS PROVED THE MONEY WAS CLEAN."

So they admitted to transferring the money and not knowing whether or not it was legal or not, making them guilty if the money was illegal but not really culpable if the money was legal.

Did they ever really say, "We illegally laundered money?"

阿牛 said...

I don't believe so, but even all the green papers carried headlines of admitting guilt; so I don't think there's much question they told the judge they pleaded guilty to the charges, whatever the details of the case turn out to be.