Calls from the public and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to release former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) on medical parole were denied as Minister of Justice Luo Ying-shay (羅瑩雪) yesterday said the prison where Chen in being held is more than capable of handling Chen’s health concerns, as he still observes normal schedules for activities and is eating and drink normally.
Luo rejected claims that there were political forces at work in the move, adding that all decisions were based on legal guidelines.
While the request for medical parole was denied, Luo said that it has been half a year since Chen was last checked by a medical team, which was when he last applied for medical parole.
Luo said that if Chen applies again for a diagnosis on whether he is fit for medical parole, the Agency of Corrections would consider including medical experts and physicians recommended by the family in the checkup team.
Chen’s son Chen Chih-chung (陳致中) later yesterday said that the family would decide on its next action after conferring with the medical team and lawyers.
Meanwhile, Chen Shui-bian’s supporters gathering at Chen Chih-chung’s office panned President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for being “cold-blooded” over the decision, adding that Ma should step down from the presidency.
Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) issued a statement in which she protested against the ministry’s reasons for denying Chen Shui-bian’s medical parole request, adding that she would be meeting with the DPP to discuss how the party can offer support for public calls to release Chen Shui-bian.
Separately, Presidential Office spokesperson Ma Wei-kuo (馬瑋國) said that the office respected any decisions reached by the agencies in charge.
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