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Ex-President Chen applies for medical parole
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-06-17 05:50 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Jailed former President Chen Shui-bian has filed a request through his attorney for medical parole, his son Chen Chih-chung was quoted as saying Tuesday.

The elder Chen, who was president from 2000 to 2008, serves a 20-year prison sentence for corruption in Taichung, but the deteriorating situation of his health has lead to intense concern.

Attorney Cheng Wen-lung had filed an official request for medical parole with the Ministry of Justice, Chen Chih-chung said. A judicial spokesperson confirmed the news, but added it was now up to the Taichung Prison to reach a decision about the request.

The spokesperson said that according to the relevant legal terminology, the request for medical parole was more of a “petition.”

Concern about Chen’s health has been mounting over the past few years as video footage showed him nearly unable to walk while being hit by a number of afflictions, including severe depression, atypical Parkinson’s disease, sleep apnea, a speech disorder and mild cerebral atrophy. Last June, he attempted to commit suicide, reports said.

A wide range of campaigners, including doctors, said he needed more intensive medical care, preferably at home amid his relatives. The request for medical parole won the approval of various prominent personalities, including opposition Taipei City mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je and the capital’s incumbent mayor, Kuomintang Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin.

Chen’s supporters have accused President Ma Ying-jeou of putting a political vendetta against his predecessor above human rights. Ma first defeated Chen in the 1998 Taipei City mayoral election and then succeeded him as president ten years later.

It was not immediately clear when the Ministry of Justice would come up with a response to the former president’s application for medical parole.

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