DPP supports releasing Chen on medical parole

By Katherine Wei, The China Post

Along with their re-elected counterparts, several Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) mayors and magistrates-elect called upon the Ma Ying-jeou administration and the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) to release former President Chen Shui-bian (������) on medical parole before the upcoming Chinese New Year. The Justice Ministry’s Correction Agency responded to the calls yesterday, expressing its ��respect�� for medical professionals, yet the Taichung prison holding Chen has not supplied the MOJ with relevant information justifying medical parole. Shortly after the numerous election victories of the DPP, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (����), Tainan Mayor William Lai (���M�w), Taoyuan Mayor-elect Cheng Wen-tsang (�G����) and other mayors-elect attended the party’s Central Standing Committee meeting, stating as one that Chen was ailing in jail and needed additional medical attention.

Nearly seven years into his 20-year term in Taichung Prison, Chen was put behind bars shortly after his term as president ended in 2008. He is serving time for graft during his eight years in office as president. MOJ official Chen Ming-tang stated that the Correction Agency should deal with the issue cautiously and according to the law. ��We respect medical professionals, but the Taichung Prison has not provided any information related to a medical parole. The Pei-de Hospital has always examined Chen’s health condition carefully and given him the necessary care,�� said Correction Agency Director Wu Sen-chang (�d�˼�) in response to the DPP. Chen’s Sentence Unfair: Lai Chen was ruled innocent in a previous state affairs fund embezzlement case, and there has been no evidence of him laundering money overseas, said Lai. ��For now, there is only the Lungtan corruption case that the judges felt affected his integrity as president, and put him behind bars. But the case changed judges, which was not entirely fair … from a judicial perspective, the (Ma administration) should let Chen return home in his deteriorating state,�� said Lai.

��I hope President Ma sees this in regard to Taiwan’s peace, unity and development progress. It is time to let Chen go.�� Releasing Chen will be the first step to dissolving blue-green disputes, said Yilan Magistrate Lin Tsung-hsien (�L�o��).

The elected leaders’ words were later seconded by DPP bigwigs Frank Hsieh (�ª���) and Yu Shyi-kun (����堃).