It was a foregone conclusion, as the System was never going to convict its own fair-haired boy, but it was formalized today as Ma was cleared today of embezzlement:

Taipei District Court today (14) announced the opposition presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), cleared from the prosecution of his embezzlement trail. Ma was chairman of the Kuomintang until he resigned following his indictment. Ma, 57, has appeared several times in court since April the prosecutors accused he diverted NT$11 million of public money into his private account while taking his position as mayor of Taipei between 1998 and 2006.

The money was in his accounts, so Ma’s position was it was OK to take it because it was intended as an income subsidy for government officials. The court upheld that position in a case in Tainan a while back.

I’m curious to see what the effect of this case will be on similar cases. Such as President Chen, whom prosecutors have gone after for doing the same thing Ma did.