Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), the son of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), yesterday again appealed to the authorities to grant his father leave from prison to obtain medical treatment.
The former president is serving a 17-and-a-half year prison term for corruption.
Chen Shui-bian said that he is suffering from chest pain and has trouble breathing, according to a letter Chen Chih-chung received from his father that was sent three days previously, and a prison doctor said that the symptoms could signal pulmonary failure.
The prison should arrange a medical checkup for his father so Chen Shui-bian and his family can set their minds at ease about his health, Chen Chih-chung added.
Chen Chih-chung expressed his gratitude to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and its acting chairperson Chen Chu (陳菊) for releasing a statement on Thursday in support of the call to have the former president granted medical leave to have a health check.
In the legislature yesterday, Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫), in response to press queries, said he had no idea how the former president had learned that he had respiratory failure because “his doctor did not tell him that.”
Tseng said Taipei Prison had recently asked its doctor about Chen Shui-bian’s health and the doctor denied that he had diagnosed him with respiratory failure.
Chen Shui-bian has maintained his normal routine, and his heart beat and blood pressure are also normal, Tseng added,
During a question-and-answer session with Premier Sean Chen, DPP Legislator Mark Chen (陳唐山) appealed to Sean Chen (陳冲) and Tseng to take good care of Chen Shui-bian’s health and take serious heed of the growing clamor to grant Chen Shui-bian medical leave.
Tseng replied that Chen Shui-bian does not have a serious health problem.
Referring to a speech by former US president Gerald Ford when he decided to grant a full pardon to his predecessor Richard Nixon over the Watergate scandal, Mark Chen said President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) should seriously consider a pardon for Chen Shui-bian to end this tragic episode in the country’s history.
“Theirs is an American tragedy in which we all have played a part. It could go on and on and on, or someone must write the end to it. I have concluded that only I can do that, and if I can, I must,” Mark Chen quoted Ford as saying.
Likewise, Mark Chen said, Chen Shui-bian was in a historical quandary over the corruption charges in connection with the use of state funds.
“The consequences of this historical glitch should not fall on Chen Shui-bian alone,” he said.
Additional reporting by CNA