Former Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian, of the independence-minded DPP party, was officially arrested Tuesday afternoon, according to a breaking news announcement by the CNN, the American cable news network.
Earlier in the day, Chen was questioned over accused corruption scandals at the local prosecutor's office.
According to a report by the Associated Press, Chen, who denied any wrongdoing, is an ardent supporter of seceding Taiwan island from China.
Facing a group of his hardcore supporters outside the prosecutor's office, Chen chanted "Long live Taiwan independence," said the AP report.
Chen Shui-bian, his family members and top proteges have been the object of a six-month probe into scandals they laundered money and made illegal use of a "special leadership fund" during his eight years in power from 2000 to 2008.
Two of Chen's senior advisers already have been arrested in the case.
Chen, a 58-year-old career lawyer and the island's leader from 2000 to 2008, left the special Supreme Court prosecutor's office in handcuffs after more than six hours, with about 300 officers guarding the area to fend off any protests.
Probes into the affairs of Chen, his family and aides have hurt the image of the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party, which faces tough local elections in 2009. Chen and his wife, also a graft suspect in an ongoing trial, left the party in August.