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Ex-Taiwanese leader faces lawsuits over leaks, graft

21 May 2016 10:39


Former Taiwanese chief executive Ma Ying-jeou is expected to be challenged with dozens of lawsuits which were reopened against the politician following the termination of his presidential immunity.

The Taipei District Prosecutors Office said that Ma faces 24 cases that were re-launched on Saturday.

The allegations against him range from his failure to declare assets and his leaking of the self-ruled island nation’s political secrets.

Prosecutors said in an earlier statement that they have been “actively taking inventory of cases relating to president Ma that were suspended due to immunity to criminal prosecution.”

Ma came to power in 2008 after securing support among people fed up with the scandals involving his predecessor Chen Shui-bian, who was jailed for corruption.

Ma, however, saw his popularity plummet during his eight-year term, during which relations with China were warmed.

Taiwan’s chief executive Tsai Ing-wen (C) and her Vice President Chen Chien-jen (R) gesture during her inauguration ceremony in Taipei on May 20, 2016. ©AFP

He left the presidential office on Friday as Tsai Ing-wen of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was sworn in as Taiwan’s first female leader, after winning a landslide victory in January.

China and Taiwan are physically separated by the Taiwan Strait in the west Pacific Ocean.

They split politically following the 1927-1950 Chinese Civil War and there have been no formal cross-strait diplomatic relations ever since.

China regards Taiwan as part of its territory, but the island considers Beijing as a threat, an attitude which has been invigorated since the DPP’s victory.

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