Sat, Aug 03, 2013 - Page 3 News List

TECRO rejects US lawmaker’s claims about ex-president

Staff writer, with CNA, WASHINGTON

Taiwan’s representative office in the US on Thursday rejected allegations by a US lawmaker that the corruption case against jailed former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was politically motivated.

Taiwan’s government respects judicial independence and does not interfere in any legal cases, said Chang Li-hsien (張麗賢), head of the press division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the US.

Chang made the statement after Representive Robert Andrews, a Democrat, introduced a bill in the House of Representatives on Tuesday urging Taiwan’s government to grant Chen medical parole and “to ensure that he receives the highest level of medical attention.”

The bill states that since the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration took office in 2008, a large number of investigations and prosecutions have been brought against officials from the previous Democratic Progressive Party administration, including Chen. It alleges that “most of these prosecutions were politically motivated, in an apparent pattern of political score-settling.”

Chang said Taiwan finds the allegations “regrettable” because they are “not factual.”

Chang said the bill overlooks the special accommodations provided to Chen, who is lodged in a special convalescence area set up for him at Taichung Prison’s Pei Teh Hospital, she said.

Chen is serving a 20-year prison sentence for corruption. He was hospitalized last year and later diagnosed with severe depression, severe sleep apnea, atypical Parkinson’s Disease, stuttering and mild cerebral atrophy.

Andrews wrote a letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry in March, urging him to take a stance on Chen’s treatment.

He also tried to raise attention last year to Chen’s mental and physical health problems.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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