TAIPEI -- Former Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian was in custody Tuesday after being questioned in a money-laundering case.
Former Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian raises his hand-cuffed hands as he is led away from the prosecutor's office in Taipei, November 11, 2008. [Agencies]
Chen, 58, left a special prosecutor's office in handcuffs after more than five hours inside as about 300 police officers guarded the area to fend off any protests.
Chen raised his hands into the air to show his handcuffs to a crowd of media outside the prosecutor's office before he was pushed into a waiting car to be driven to a Taipei district courthouse.
But hours later, Chen was taken to a Taipei hospital, prompting the suspension of a court proceeding to determine whether he should be formally detained on corruption charges.
His lawyer Lai Ching-te said the Taipei district court ordered Chen to be evaluated for a possible injury he sustained earlier in the day en route to the court building.
There was no additional information on the circumstances of the injury.
As Chen was led away from the prosecutor's office, he could be heard shouting: "This is political persecution" and "Cheers for Taiwan".
Chen's defiance notwithstanding, millions of Taiwanese revile him for permitting his tenure to be mired in an atmosphere of systematic corruption.
Friends and close advisors have been imprisoned on a variety of graft charges, his wife is being tried for allegedly looting a special "presidential" fund, and Chen himself is facing a complex series of judicial probes.
|Former Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian raises his hand-cuffed hands as he is led away from the prosecutor's office in Taipei, November 11, 2008. [Agencies]
Earlier in the day, Chen told a news conference outside the prosecutor's office that he expected to be arrested in connection with the money-laundering case involving himself and family members.
His family is suspected of sending at least NT$1 billion ($30.4 million) to Japan, the United States, the Cayman Islands, Singapore, Switzerland and other places, Taiwan newspapers said, citing the "supreme court" prosecutor's office.
Two of Chen's senior advisors have already been arrested in connection with the case.
Chen admitted in August that he broke the law by not fully disclosing campaign donations he had received.
Prosecutors said they wanted to determine whether the funds were indeed donations left over from political campaigns or whether bribery might have been involved.