Former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) lawyer said yesterday that he would once again request the release of his client as Chen was still refusing to eat in protest at what he has called “political persecution.”
Cheng Wen-long (鄭文龍) told reporters after visiting Chen at the Taipei Detention Center in Tucheng (土城), Taipei County, that he would file the request at the Taipei District Court.
Cheng said Chen’s detention was unnecessary as the grounds for his incarceration no longer existed because prosecutors had already questioned Chen’s wife, son and former premier Yu Shyi-kun.
Cheng said he informed Chen of his intention when he visited him last week and that Chen respected his advice and had authorized him to file the request.
The decision came after the Taiwan High Court on Thursday rejected an appeal filed by Cheng contesting Chen’s detention. Cheng said he could seek a constitutional interpretation on the ruling from the Council of Grand Justices.
The court overruled the appeal on the grounds that Chen had not signed the application. Chen has said he would relinquish his right to appeal the detention in protest at what he has called “political persecution” and a “political vendetta” against him.
Sue Wang (王時思), a legal adviser at Chen’s office, yesterday said that Cheng would need Chen’s signature to request the release of his client.
Regarding the constitutional interpretation, Wang said Cheng had yet to make the request, but that he would do so at “an appropriate time.”
Chen is suspected of money laundering, taking bribes, forgery and embezzling NT$15 million (US$450,000) during his two terms in office. He has been detained without charge since Nov. 12 and has refused to eat since Nov. 13.
Cheng said his client was still refusing food yesterday, but had agreed to drink a diluted sports drink and 15cc of medicine to settle his stomach.
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