Sat, Jan 08, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Chen’s lawyer insists on visit to non-prison doctor

Staff Writer, with CNA

A lawyer for former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) urged prison authorities yesterday to allow Chen to be given medical treatment outside of prison.

Chen’s lawyer, Shih Yi-lin (石宜琳), said he recently visited Chen at the Taipei Prison and during the meeting Chen complained about poor health, saying that he feels breathless even when sitting down and worse when walking.

“Chen has a heart problem and three prison doctors have suggested that he needs further medical examinations outside the prison,” Shih said.

Shih made the remarks on the sidelines of the start of Chen’s hearing at the Taiwan High Court on charges of embezzling from a special presidential fund.

Chen, citing his ill-health, -instructed the lawyer to speak on his behalf during the proceedings.

Shih said that the “state affairs fund” is a discretionary presidential fund and that Chen used the money according to the previous practices of the country’s former heads of state and that he had no intention of behaving in a corrupt manner.

Chen is involved in several corruption and money-laundering cases and in November, the Supreme Court sentenced him and his wife, Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), each to 19 years in jail for taking bribes while Chen was president.

The Taiwan High Court ruled last month that Wu and Chen should each serve 17-and-a-half years.

Chen, who has been held at a detention center since late 2008, was moved to Taipei Prison in Taoyuan on Dec. 2 to serve his sentence. Prison authorities are still considering how Wu should serve her sentence, given her medical condition.

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