Fri, Apr 09, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Organizations demand that Chen be released soon

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  STAFF REPORTER

A number of pro-independence organizations yesterday called on the government to release former President Chen Shui-bian (蠊漵禶) from Taipei Detention Center, where he has been held in 〝detention for 499 days.

At a press conference in Taipei yesterday, political commentator Chin Heng-wei (旄恆煒) criticized the government for Chen*s protracted detention, saying that it was based on political considerations because Chen no longer posed a flight risk.

Chen*s family on Tuesday agreed to wire NT$700 million (US$22.1 million) from their Swiss bank accounts to prosecutors in Taiwan, citing comments made by a judge that the move could enhance Chen*s chances of release when he comes up for review on April 23.

※Political interference from Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] politicians as well as external pressure from China are the only reasons that Chen*s detention has continued indefinitely,§ Chin said.

In a statement released on Wednesday by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the party called for the courts to end Chen*s detention in the interest of ※preserving Taiwan*s democratic freedoms and ensuring the fairness of the judiciary."

Quoting DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (齍褙湞), the statement said: ※The indefinite detention of the former president has had a serious impact on the international image of and public confidence in Taiwan*s legal system."

Both pro-independence organizations and the opposition party are asking the government to support a revision of the Code of Criminal Procedure (?瓿慴摜跏) that would impose limits on the length of time individuals can be held.

A joint statement released by the organizations yesterday said that any law that provides for ※indefinite periods of detention is a relic of the martial law period.§

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