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Chen Shui-bian not out yet: MOJ

DPP condemns bureaucratic procedure

Chen Shui-bian not out yet: MOJ

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – It was too late to let former President Chen Shui-bian out on medical parole Tuesday, the Ministry of Justice said.
Speculation has been mounting that he would be allowed to leave Taichung Prison’s Pei-te Hospital either Tuesday or Wednesday after a review committee recommended Monday evening that he should go home to receive adequate medical care.
Chen has served six years of a 20-year prison sentence on charges of corruption. The campaign for his medical parole started more than a year ago after his health began deteriorating sharply, with problems including sleep apnea, incontinence, and signs hinting at Parkinson’s disease, reports said.
The MOJ said Tuesday that because the Taichung Veterans General Hospital had not yet sent the report on Chen to the Taichung Prison, it would be impossible for the former president to leave by the end of the day. The opposition Democratic Progressive Party said Chen’s medical parole should not be delayed by petty bureaucratic procedures.
All 15 members of the review committee visited Chen at the prison hospital for a third time Monday night, and came to the unanimous conclusion that he should benefit from medical parole. The committee was recently reconstituted to include seven members approved by Chen’s family.
The Presidential Office said Tuesday it respected the MOJ’s decisions based on professional medical opinions and on relevant laws.
The DPP said that because the medical review committee had unanimously approved medical parole, the government should no longer postpone a decision. “Don’t ever use a bureaucratic attitude to handle the health rights of a patient, because the health of a patient cannot wait,” said party spokesman Huang Ti-ying.
Former Vice President Annette Lu, who has been on hunger strike since Sunday in support of medical parole for Chen, said that if civil servants started work at 9 a.m., the documents should have reached the prison by 11 a.m. If the government planned to stall, she said she would call on the people to gather outside the Presidential Office early on New Year’s Day in a protest against President Ma Ying-jeou. The area is usually the scene of a flag-raising ceremony early each January 1.
Ex-Premier Su Tseng-chang said that letting Chen return home was the normal thing to do with a patient in his condition, and that medical parole would resolve a long-standing dispute.
Earlier, the MOJ pointed out that medical parole was only temporary in nature. If Chen’s condition improved within a month, he would have to return to prison. In addition, while outside, he would not be allowed to travel around and take the stage at political rallies, officials said.


Updated : 2021-05-12 04:55 GMT+08:00