Ex-President Chen Shui-bian must apply to attend dinner: minister

Taipei--Former President Chen Shui-bian (???) will have to apply to prison authorities to attend a fundraising dinner in Taipei this week, Justice Minister Chiu Tai-san (???) said Monday.

Chiu said Chen, who was released from Taichung Prison on medical parole in January 2015, will have to apply first to the Taichung Prison and meet related requirements if he wants to attend the Ketagalan Foundation's 12th anniversary fundraising dinner.

Media reports have said the fundraiser will be held on May 19 and the former president will address the occasion.

Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (???) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party serves as the chairman of the foundation, while the former president's son, Chen Chih-chung (???), is its executive director.

The Taichung Prison said Monday that it has yet to receive an application from the former president, noting that he applied to attend a similar event last year.

Local media reported on Monday that Chen Shui-bian has not applied to attend the event and dared the Taichung Prison to "throw me back in jail" if he appears at the event without permission.

Chen Chih-chung dismissed as a media "fabrication" his father's defiant quote to "throw me back in jail," and he was dissatisfied that some in the opposition Kuomintang have used the issue for political maneuvering.

He said the dinner, which will charge NT$5,000 (US$166) a head, has been seen by his father's doctors as a form of functional therapy, and their opinions as professionals should be respected.

He expressed the hope that people would take the issue in stride and not politicize the matter.

The son said his father applied to attend the event last year, a request that was granted, but added that his father was denied the chance to speak at the event and had to stay in a wing to meet old friends.

The former president was sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined NT$250 million in a series of corruption cases shortly after his second term ended in 2008.

He began serving his sentence on Nov. 11, 2010 but was set free on medical parole in early 2015 at the advice of his medical team after his health declined and he developed problems such as the loss of motor control functions and incontinence. By Hau Hsueh-chin, Wang Shu-fen and Lilian Wu)

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel