Greater Tainan police yesterday said they would dispatch 200 personnel to maintain security when jailed former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) visits to pay his respects to his recently deceased mother-in-law.
Chen will be escorted from Taipei Prison at 6:10am today and is expected to arrive in Greater Tainan at about 8:30am, Greater Tainan police said.
The former president will head straight to a funeral home in Sinying District (新營), where a mourning ceremony will be held for Wu Wang Hsia (吳王霞), who died on Saturday, the authorities said.
Chen will be allowed to stay for an hour, they said, adding that they did not know whether Chen’s wife, Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), would attend the service.
Police said the Wu family hoped that today’s ceremony would be peaceful and had asked Chen’s supporters, who will reportedly gather at the funeral home, not to get too emotional.
Chen is serving a 17-and-a-half-year sentence for corruption and money laundering.
On behalf of the Wu family, Taipei City Councilor Chiang Chih-ming (江志銘) filed an application with Taipei Prison on Wednesday for a special release for Chen so he could pay his respects to Wu Wang Hsia either on the day of the funeral, scheduled for Tuesday, or on the seventh day after Wu’s death, which will be today.
Prison authorities had previously said they would not permit Chen to attend the funeral out of concern for his safety.
Chen will reportedly not be shackled or handcuffed during his special release from prison.