Sat, Feb 21, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Chen Shui-bian reportedly goes hungry again

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who remained in detention when he marked his 60th birthday on Wednesday, has not eaten anything for two days in protest against government incompetence and continued judicial persecution, Chen's office said yesterday.

“Former president Chen stopped eating two days ago. He wants to express his anger [at the government] even if it means death. He is very determined,” Chiang Chih-ming (江志銘), the secretary of Chen's office, said yesterday outside the Taipei Detention Center in Tucheng, Taipei County.

Chen's daughter, Chen Hsing-yu (陳幸妤), later rushed to the detention center to visit her father, where she conveyed former first lady Wu Shu-jen's (吳淑珍) concerns about her husband's health on the couple's 34th wedding anniversary.

The former president's lawyer, Shih Yi-ling (石宜琳), later said Chen Shui-bian had been depressed over the past several days and had skipped lunch and exercise.

Shih, however, said the former president did not mention anything about fasting to death.

Lee Da-chu (李大竹), deputy head of the detention center, denied reports that Chen Shui-bian had skipped breakfast and lunch yesterday, saying he had finished his three meals on Thursday.

Lee said the center would pay extra attention to Chen Shui-­bian's situation.

The former president conducted a 15-day hunger strike in November after being detained for the first time. He was sent to hospital for a check-up during his first fast.

Chen Shui-bian, who left office in May, has been detained on charges of embezzlement, taking bribes, money laundering, influence peddling and extortion. Wu, their son Chen Chih-chung (陳致中) and his wife, Huang Jui-­ching (黃睿靚), and several of his former aides have also been charged with corruption and money-laundering.

Chen Chih-chung and Huang moved to Kaohsiung on Thursday to start a new life in the south. Chiang said the former president knew about their move and understood their decision.

Chen Chih-chung had said on Thursday that he would start looking for a job in Kaohsiung to support his family.

He said his mother would not be moving to his new residence anytime soon because of the difficulty in finding a caregiver.

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