Ex-President Chen conditionally permitted to attend fundraising event

2017/05/19 18:09:50 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
(CNA file photo)

(CNA file photo)

Taipei, May 19 (CNA) Former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who is currently on medial parole after being convicted of corruption, has received conditional permission to attend an annual fundraising dinner in Taipei on Friday.

Taichung Prison, where Chen was incarcerated, said the former president can go to the annual gathering hosted by the Ketagalan Foundation, but he is not allowed to enter the venue, instead he can meet friends outside.

The Ketagalan Foundation is a political organization and as such any fundraiser it holds is categorized as a political event, the prison said, noting that inmates on medical parole are barred from attending political and election campaign events.

However, after Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital's medical team suggested that such a trip would be beneficial for Chen's medical condition, the prison said he could meet friends at "a proper location" near the fundraising dinner.

Chen is not allowed to enter the venue, go on a stage or give a speech, Taichung Prison said.

It is a condition of Chen's medical parole that he is also not permitted to talk about politics or be interviewed by the press.

The former president is bound by the regulations detailed in the warrant he signed for medical parole on Jan. 5, 2015, the prison noted.

Chen, who founded the Ketagalan Foundation in 2003 while still president, had wanted to deliver a 10-minute non-political speech at the foundation's annual fundraising dinner on Friday, according to Taichung Prison.

Last year Chen was allowed to attend the event but not permitted to address the gathering. He made an appearance in the building where the dinner was held but did not enter the venue. Instead, he went to a room adjoining the event.

Chen's son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), who is now executive director of the foundation, said in Kaohsiung earlier that his father would take a high-speed train to the north for the dinner event, based on the medical team's treatment plan.

In 2008, shortly after Chen Shui-bian's tenure as president ended, he was convicted of corruption, sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined NT$250 million (US$8.25 million).

He served his sentence at Taichung Prison until January 2015, when he was released on medical parole due to declining health and has since lived in the southern Taiwan municipal city of Kaohsiung.

(By Cheng Chi-fong and Elizabeth Hsu)

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