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Presidential advisers urge president to pardon predecessor

Presidential advisers urge president to pardon predecessor

Taipei, May 19 (CNA) Several senior advisers to President Ma Ying-jeou (???) suggested Tuesday that Ma should pardon former President Chen Shui-bian (???) on the eve of the final year of his second four-year term. Hsu Wun-pin (???), one of the president's senior advisers, was positive about Ma's promotion of judicial human rights during his term, noting that Chen was released on medical parole from Taichung prison Jan. 5 because of deteriorating health. The Taipei District Court also recently ruled to stop another criminal trial of Chen due to his serious illness. Hsu suggested that Ma take stock of the spirit of the Act of Courtesy for Former Presidents and Vice Presidents and consider granting Chen a special pardon. In response, a Presidential Office source said that Ma insists upon rule by law, and "will not interfere in individual judicial cases, especially since special pardons can only be granted after cases are final." Chen still has four criminal cases pending, the source said. The former president was sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined NT$250 million in a series of corruption cases that surfaced shortly after his second term ended in 2008. He began serving his sentence Nov. 11, 2010, but had been detained for nearly two years prior to that. Hsu said that Ma's governance over the past seven years has not satisfied everyone, citing the examples of such issues as housing tax, benefits for military personnel, civil servants and teachers, as well as cross-Taiwan Strait trade exchanges. Due to the subjective political ideology in society, those who have benefited from the government's policies still have not shown appreciation, Hsu observed. Another senior adviser, Huang Chao-sung (???), cited the example of U.S. President Barack Obama, who suffered a big loss in the U.S. mid-term elections, to show that Ma can still achieve a lot in his last year in office. Even though the U.S. public considers Obama to have become "lame duck," he has made breakthroughs in resuming diplomatic relations with Cuba and signing an executive order on immigration. Huang said that Ma has moved steadily forward and that there is still a lot for him to do in the diplomatic, cultural and military areas, as well as in cross-strait relations. (By Sophia Yeh and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-16 18:57 GMT+08:00