As incarceration for former first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) becomes imminent, her daughter Chen Hsing-yu (陳幸妤) yesterday said she would hold the government accountable if anything unfortunate happens to her wheelchair-bound mother during her time in prison.
“If anything untoward happens to my mother while in prison, I will sue the government on charges of manslaughter, and it needs to return my mother to me,” Chen was quoted by Northern Taiwan Society director-general Janice Chen (陳昭姿) as saying when Janice Chen, along with some members from pro--localization groups, paid Wu a visit in Kaohsiung yesterday.
Wu, widely known for her ailing health, has been confined to a wheelchair since November 1985, when she was knocked down and run over three times by a three-wheeled truck, shortly after her husband, Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), lost a Tainan County commissioner election.
Wu was sentenced, along with the former president, 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 remains unclear where Wu will serve her sentence, although there has been speculation that the authorities are considering sending her to the hospital affiliated with Taichung Prison.
The Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office will convene a special meeting of chief prosecutors today to discuss details of Wu’s imprisonment.
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 people who have been convicted of sexual assault and released on parole.
Citing Wu’s ailing health, Taiwan Hakka Society chairman Chang Yeh-shen (張葉森) yesterday said Wu cannot use a bathroom on her own and must rely on assistance from a nurse.
The hospital affiliated with Taichung Prison definitely would not be able to provide the attentive care that Wu receives at home, Chang said, adding that Wu’s life might be put at risk if she is assigned to serve her sentence at Taichung Prison.
Chang said the court should make an extremely careful assessment of Wu’s case, taking into account National Taiwan University Hospital’s diagnose on the condition of Wu’s health.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA