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Taiwan president refuses to intervene in Chen case

Ma rejects ex-president`s appeal to lift travel ban on daughter

Taiwan president refuses to intervene in Chen case

President Ma Ying-jeou refused on Tuesday a request by former president Chen Shui-bian to permit his daughter Chen Hsin-yu to leave Taiwan to study dentistry abroad despite a court order by the Taipei District Court banning her from leaving Taiwan.

Speaking to reporters at the Sheraton Panama Hotel, presidential spokesman Wang Yu-chi confirmed that the Office of the President had received a handwritten letter from Chen, who has been under ``preventative detention`` for over 200 days after indictment, along with former first lady Wu Shu-chen and several former aides, on four charges of alleged corruption.

Wang related that the contents of the handwritten message were retyped and sent by ``telecommunication channels`` to President Ma, who was shown the full content of Chen`s epistle Tuesday morning before the presidential delegation took off from San Francisco International Airport.

Wang related that Ma had commented that he ``can appreciate as a father former president Chen`s feelings about his daughter, but Chen Shui-bian was previously a a president and should know that a president cannot interfere with the judicial process.``

``Therefore, President Ma stated that he has no right or power to intervene in this case and hopes that former president Chen can appreciate this situation,`` the presidential spokesman said.

Asked whether the former president had expressed concern over the possibility that Chen Hsin-yu could commit suicide in reaction to the travel ban, Wang responded that ``it is not convenient to release the contents of the letter, but it is similar to what you have stated.``

Moreover, Wang stated that President Ma had decided not to turn the letter over to Special Investigative Unit prosecutors.

Presidential Secretary-General Chan Chun-po announced receipt of Chen`s letter Tuesday afternoon in Taipei and had already stated that President Ma could not interfere in the judicial process due to the separation of powers.

According to news reports, Chen had stated that his daughter was dissatisfied with the prohibition on travelling outside of Taiwan imposed after she admitted to perjury in relation to the cases.

Updated : 2021-08-01 05:27 GMT+08:00