Taiwan court clears ex-vice president of graft

Taiwan's ex-vice president Annette Lu and a former top presidential aide have been cleared of corruption and forgery charges after prosecutors failed to prove the case against them, a court said.

Lu and Yu Shyi-kun, former secretary-general to then president Chen Shui-bian, were indicted in 2007 for allegedly abusing their positions to claim millions of Taiwan dollars in expenses with false receipts.

"Lu and Yu are found not guilty as prosecutors failed to prove that they had used their positions to swindle money or commit forgery," the Taipei district court said in a statement issued late Monday.

Lu was Chen's deputy during his 2000-2008 terms in office, the most senior government post ever held by a woman in Taiwan.

A former political prisoner and human rights advocate, Lu briefly stood for the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party nomination in the 2012 presidential race, but withdrew early in the process.

Taiwan has been rocked by a string of high-profile corruption cases in recent years, with those involved ranging from ex-president Chen to top officials in President Ma Ying-jeou's government.

On Tuesday Lin Yi-shih, previously a rising star in Ma's Kuomintang party, was taken into custody after he admitted taking millions of US dollars in bribes from a businessman while he was a lawmaker two years ago.

Chen is currently serving a prison term of 17 years and six months for two bribery convictions. He has insisted he is a victim of a political witch-hunt.

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