Ex-President Chen’s medical parole extended again

A request by former President Chen Shui-bian (???) to have his medical parole extended again has been approved, Taichung Prison said Friday, despite a recent video in which Chen appeared to be in good health.

Chen's parole, which has been extended seven times prior to this, will be extended for another three months until Feb. 4, 2017, the prison said, citing a decision by the Agency of Corrections under the Ministry of Justice.

The prison said although the video has sparked discussions among the public, the decision of whether to extend Chen's parole is based on the evaluation by a medical team, which visits the former president every month.

In its latest report, the team said Chen, who is 66, needs to continue to receive psychological and physical treatment outside prison because his conditions have not shown significant improvement, according to the prison authorities.

The former president, who was in office from 2000 to 2008, has served more than six years of a 20-year prison sentence for several convictions on corruption charges.

He was given parole on medical grounds in January 2015 because of concerns the prison hospital could not adequately care for him as he battled several medical conditions, including depression, suspected Parkinson's disease and brain atrophy.

In the video posted online, Chen is seen taking a walk near his home in Kaohsiung and chastising the man who shot the video with his smartphone, fueling suspicion by some critics that he is faking his illness to avoid serving time in jail.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel