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Ex-president has not sought permission to attend public function: MOJ

Ex-president has not sought permission to attend public function: MOJ

Taipei, May 24 (CNA) The prison from which former President Chen Shui-bian was released on medical parole last year has not received a request for him to attend any public activities, Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san said Tuesday.

Chiu was responding to a statement by a Ketagalan Foundation board member that Chen will attend a dinner to be held in his honor June 4, on the 11 anniversary of the foundation.

The minister said that Taichung Prison, where Chen was imprisoned for 20 months before his medical parole in January 2015, will handle any such request in accordance with due process and will seek the opinion of medical professionals on whether the dinner is related to Chen's medical needs.

Taichung Prison also made a statement on the issue, saying it had not received any request from Chen to attend a public function.

Under the terms of Chen's parole, he would risk revocation should he participate in activities unrelated to his medical needs, said the prison, which is administered by the justice ministry's Agency of Corrections.

Janice Chen, a Ketagalan Foundation board member, said the former president had decided not to apply for permission but will simply attend the dinner on June 4, which is being held in his honor as a founding member of the non-profit organization.

She said that last year, when Chen Shui-bian filed a request with the Agency of Corrections to attend a similar banquet at the foundation, it was approved, but permission was later withdrawn by the justice ministry.

The agency, however, denied that it had received any such request last year. Earlier this month, the former president was invited to attend a state banquet on the inauguration of President Tsai Ing-wen last Friday, but he declined.

Chen Shui-bian, who was in office from 2000 to 2008, has served more than six years of a 20-year prison term for several convictions on corruption charges. (By Tsai Pei-chi and Evelyn Kao)

Updated : 2021-08-02 05:36 GMT+08:00