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Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou will not intervene on behalf of predecessor’s daughter

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou will not intervene on behalf of predecessor’s daughter

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As a father, President Ma Ying-jeou could understand ex-President Chen Shui-bian’s feelings, but he had no right to intervene in individual legal cases, the Presidential Office said Wednesday.
Ma hoped Chen could forgive him, presidential spokesman Wang Yu-chi told reporters, adding that the need for a reply was still under consideration.
“Chen Shui-bian also served as president, so he knows the president cannot interfere with the judiciary,” Wang said.
The statement was Ma’s reaction to a letter Chen wrote Monday requesting him to ask prosecutors to lift a travel ban on his daughter Chen Hsing-yu to allow her to study at the New York University College of Dentistry. The ex-president said his daughter might contemplate committing suicide with her three children if she couldn’t register for the studies by the deadline of July 1.
She was first barred from leaving the country last month after being indicted for perjury, but filed an appeal. After news of her father’s letter came out, prosecutors announced Tuesday they were keeping the travel ban in order to facilitate the handling of her case.
Prominent officials of the Democratic Progressive Party visited the Presidential Office Tuesday to plead for legal reforms and for Chen’s release. After the meeting, presidential officials confirmed that they had received Chen’s latter and would be passing it on to Ma, who was on his way to Panama for an official visit.
The American Institute in Taiwan refused to comment Wednesday on reports by Next Magazine that it had initially turned down a student visa application by Chen Hsing-yu earlier this year but later reversed course after an argument with her. AIT also refused to comment on reports it had canceled her visa after prosecutors issued the travel ban.
Former First Lady Wu Shu-jen said this week she had asked her daughter, her son-in-law Chao Chien-ming and her son Chen Chih-chung to lie to prosecutors over the allegations she had abused special presidential funds. Prosecutors listed her as a defendant for enticing others to commit perjury and could interrogate her soon, reports said Wednesday.
Wu reportedly also wrote a letter to her husband, asking him to plead guilty to save their children, according to reports in Next Magazine published Wednesday. A spokesman for Chen confirmed Wu had written a letter to complain, but said he did not know its detailed contents.
Senior DPP lawmakers visited the Judicial Yuan Wednesday to push for the freeing of the former president, who has been in custody since December 30 as a suspect in several cases involving alleged corruption and money laundering.
The main opposition party recently launched a campaign including a petition to achieve his release, emphasizing his legal and human rights have been harmed and his custody was unfair.
Chen has pleaded innocent, accusing Ma’s government of using the judiciary in a politically motivated campaign of retribution against him, his family and his former administration.


Updated : 2021-02-27 11:44 GMT+08:00