Sun, Dec 05, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Prosecutors mull jail time for Wu

DOING PORRIDGE:Prosecutors have yet to decide where the wheel-chair-bound former first lady will serve time, but Taichung Prison’s hospital is favored

Staff Writer, with CNA

The Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office will convene a special meeting of several chief prosecutors tomorrow to discuss details of former first lady Wu Shu-jen’s (吳淑珍) incarceration.

Her husband, former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), settled into a cell smaller than 4m2 at Taipei Prison in Taoyuan County on Thursday after being sentenced on Nov. 11 to a total of 19 years in prison on two bribery charges involving a land deal in Lungtan (龍潭), Taoyuan County, and the appointment of a chairwoman for the Taipei 101 skyscraper.

It remained unclear where wheelchair-bound Wu, who was also given a combined 19-year sentence for her role in the two bribery cases, will serve her term.

There has been much speculation that the authorities are considering sending Wu to the hospital affiliated with Taichung Prison.

Under the Prison Act (監獄行刑法), a prison can refuse to accept an inmate when such a person is old, disabled or cannot take care of himself or herself.

When an inmate is rejected by a prison under these regulations, he or she has to be sent to a hospital, guardian or other appropriate institution after a prosecutor reviews their physical condition.

Prosecutors are expected to come up with a proposal relating to Wu’s incarceration at tomorrow’s meeting.

Options currently being considered include having Wu stay at the Taichung Prison hospital with Wu paying for all medical costs herself, releasing her on bail at a huge sum or sending her to a “hospital, guardian, or other appropriate institution” in accordance with the Prison Act.

What is certain is that such widely discussed proposals as home confinement or making Wu wear an electronic ankle bracelet will not be adopted because Taiwan has no law regulating home confinement and electronic bracelets are only used for those who have been convicted of sexual assault and released on parole.

The court is also expected to decide whether Chen’s and Wu’s sentences will be served consecutively or concurrently.

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