Mon, Apr 06, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Chen has gum problems, rash, arthritis, family says

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A reporter, left, chases former president Chen Shui-bian’s daughter, Chen Hsing-yu, and her husband Chao Chien-ming, second right, as they visit her father at the Taipei Detention Center yesterday.


Former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) physical condition has worsened during his time in a detention center, his daughter Chen Hsing-yu (陳幸妤) and son-in-law Chao Chien-ming (趙建銘) said yesterday.

The couple visited Chen Shui-bian yesterday at Taipei Detention Center, where he is being held on charges of embezzlement, money laundering and taking bribes.

Chao, an orthopedic surgeon, said that Chen Shui-bian’s symptoms indicate he is suffering from arthritis in his right knee, which is an old problem that may have flared up again because of high humidity in the detention center.

“He [Chen Shui-bian] says he has a bit of a limp,” Chao said. “I observed no swelling, but he told me he has pain in certain spots [in his knee].”

Aside from arthritis, Chen is also suffering from a rash on his elbows and inner thighs.

“He [Chen Shui-bian] said it’s very dingy and damp in there. Because of the high humidity, he gets itchy and scratches himself, so after a while a rash develops,” said Chao, adding that he would bring his father-in-law some medication for his conditions.

Chen Hsing-yu, a dentist, said her father is also suffering from periodontitis, a condition which occurs when inflamed gums are left untreated. She said she would also bring medication for her father on her next visit.

Chen Shui-bian told the court two weeks ago that he hopes to speed up the litigation process in order to shorten his time in detention, his lawyer told reporters.

Chen Shui-bian has been in detention since December and was in court last week for the first of several cases he said have been orchestrated by a vindictive government angered by his anti-China views.

Some legal experts have expressed concerns about the handling of the case.

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