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Chen's son absent
from orientation at UVA law school

Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Correspondents of Taiwan media posted in the United States are searching for former president Chen Shui-bian's son, Chen Chih-chung, who was absent from his orientation at the University of Virginia's School of Law 10:40 a.m. U.S. eastern standard time.

Chen junior and his wife Huang Jui-ching left for the U.S. Aug. 9, together with their baby daughter before they were both named as defendants in an alleged international money laundering scandal involving the couple and the ex-president.

President Chen formally made a public apology while admitting that his wife Wu Shu-jen deposited more than US$20 million into Huang Jui-ching's bank accounts in Singapore earlier in the year.

The money was then transferred into Huang's accounts in Switzerland with her husband, the junior Chen, who holds power of attorney.

Alerted by Swiss prosecutors who wanted to verify the legitimate source of the funds as part of routine anti-money laundering operations, their counterparts in Taiwan started a full probe, including questioning the ex-president and searching his home.

The name of Chen Chih-chung, who already completed registration for his study, appeared on the bulletin board at the University of Virginia's law school for the orientation session held for all new students pursuing the juris doctor (JD) degree. His absence from the session sparked speculation that he may suspend his study for the time being or apply for transfer to another institution.

Prosecutors have asked the former president to pass the message to both his son and daughter-in-law to return to Taiwan to help with the investigation and answer questions as early as possible.

Upon landing at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport early yesterday morning, Huang's mother Wu Li-hua told reporters that both her daughter and son-in-law will return to Taipei.

Carrying her baby granddaughter Chen Chieh-hsin with her, Wu also emphasized again that she knows nothing about the reported money laundering allegations.

Both the junior Chen and Huang were originally scheduled to take a trip back to Taiwan on Jan. 19, 2009, according to the tickets they booked.