A crowd numbering about 1,000 people staged a rally in Greater Tainan yesterday, demanding the truth about the “319” assassination attempt and medical parole for former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) as they commemorated the 10th anniversary of the controversial shooting incident.
The shooting on March 19, 2004, also known as the 319 Incident, took place one day before the presidential election while then-president Chen and then-vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) were electioneering in a motorcade in Tainan. A bullet grazed Chen’s stomach and left a 13cm wound, while another bullet hit Lu in the knee.
The authorities later identified the shooter as Chen Yi-hsiung (陳義雄), who was found dead 10 days after the incident.
However, Lu and Chen Shui-bian have said that there are many aspects of the case that remained unanswered or questionable.
Lu on Tuesday renewed her call for answers and urged authorities to reopen the case.
Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), son of the former president, also took part in the rally yesterday, joined by a number of Democratic Progressive Party and independent Greater Tainan councilors.
Saying that the pan-blue camp at the time of the incident sought to malign his father by accusing him of staging the shooting to win votes, Chen Chih-chung called on the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government to offer an explanation to the public as to why it is still unable to uncover the truth behind the assassination attempt — six years after taking the reins of government.
He also called on the authorities to grant parole to his father — who is in Taichung Prison’s Pei Teh Hospital serving a 20-year term for corruption — for the sake of his poor health.
The former president has been diagnosed with various complications, including a degenerative brain disease, severe depression, sleep apnea, non-typical Parkinson’s disease, a speech disorder and mild cerebral atrophy.