Former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) attendance on Saturday at a dinner to celebrate the establishment of the Ketagalan Foundation in Taipei did not violate the provisions of his medical parole, a senior prison official said yesterday.
Chen was released from prison on medical parole in January last year.
Chen, who was a founding member of the foundation, remained in a “VIP” room next to the main venue for about two hours to meet supporters.
Prison warden Huang Wei-hsien (黃維賢), the prison’s medical staff who accompanied Chen, said that he did not violate his parole conditions.
He said a detailed assessment of Chen’s attendance at the event is to be released and submitted to the Ministry of Justice’s Agency of Corrections today.
Chen last week applied to Taichung Prison for permission to attend the event, but authorities rejected the application on the grounds that the dinner was a political event.
However, it did say that Chen would meet old friends in a private venue near the dinner, but no media coverage would be allowed.
Chen had served more than six years of a 20-year sentence for corruption before being granted parole.
In related news, in response to media allegations that Chen feigned tremors in his hands when he was in front of cameras, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said such reports were “deliberate manipulation by certain media outlets.”
Prior to his election, Ko had served as convener of Chen’s healthcare working group.
Chen’s shaking was a genuine response to anxiety, called “intention tremor,” Ko said, adding that there are multiple types of tremors, and although some occur when the body remains stationary, Chen’s symptoms fall under intention tremor, which occur after bodily movement, and that the probability of symptom outbreaks varies according to type.
Asked if the outing would help improve Chen’s condition, Ko said: “Of course this helps with his medical condition, but whether those activities help ‘others’ remains a question.”
Additional reporting by Kuo An-chia
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