Wed, Jul 31, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Former president attends court hearing

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

Pro-independence supporters hold flags in front of the Taipei District Court yesterday as former president Chen Shui-bian attended a hearing there.

Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) attended a hearing at the Taipei District Court yesterday, his first since August last year.

The hearing concerned allegations that Chen seized confidential government documents.

He had asked several times to be excused from attending for health reasons, but the court decided Chen was fit enough to attend yesterday’s hearing, which, because it concerned national security, was held behind closed doors.

Chen was brought to the district court from Taichung Prison’s Pei Teh Hospital and arrived at the court at 8:50am. He left at 1:30pm.

Chou Yuan-hua (周元華), the former president’s previous doctor at Taipei Veterans General Hospital, testified at yesterday’s hearing.

Special prosecutors in May last year indicted Chen over the seizure of confidential documents.

According to the indictment, Chen ordered close aides to pack and transport documents from national security agencies, the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to his office after the presidential election in 2008, when Chen’s Democratic Progressive Party was voted out of power.

He attended the first hearing in August last year, claiming his innocence.

Chen, who is serving a 20-year jail sentence for corruption, is suffering from a number of ailments including severe depression and non-typical Parkinson’s disease.

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