Christian legislators urge the Ma administration to grant Chen Shui-bian medical bail on humanitaria

From "Taiwan Church News" <>
Date Mon, 2 Apr 2012 17:08:26 +0800

3135 Edition

March 26-April 1, 2012

Headline News

Christian legislators urge the Ma administration to grant Chen Shui-bian 
medical bail on humanitarian grounds

Reported by Chiou Kuo-rong

Written by Lydia Ma

Former President Chen Shui-bian’s health has been deteriorating in recent days, 
but whether the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) will grant him medical bail remains 
uncertain. Chen is currently serving time in prison on embezzlement charges, 
but there are allegations of perjury by witnesses that has raised suspicions 
that President Ma Ying-jeou has been using the judiciary as a means to exact 
revenge on political foes such as Chen. 

Though suspicions arising from procedural irregularities of the trial had 
provoked public outcry in the past, news of Chen’s failing health recently 
prompted several DPP legislators and supporters to gather and protest outside 
of the MOJ on March 20, 2012. In view of perjury claims, protesters demanded 
that Chen’s case be re-examined so that some of the charges laid against him 
can be retried. They also asked that the MOJ immediately grant Chen a medical 
parole so that he can get medical treatment.

Though the DPP had previously been divided on its relationship with the former 
president in the face of the charges laid against him, the DPP caucus in Tainan 
City and the DPP Caucus in the Legislative Yuan have recently joined in one 
voice to urge the Ma administration to grant Chen medical parole on 
humanitarian and human rights grounds. The convener of DPP caucus in Tainan 
City, Councilor Lee Wen-cheng, underscored that every member of both caucuses 
had signed a petition in support of helping Chen.

Lee said that the reason the DPP wanted to help Chen was because in the string 
of charges laid against Chen, he received a guilty verdict in only one of them 
– the Longtan Case. However, there are now allegations that the special 
investigation unit assigned to that case had pressured Jeffrey Koo, Jr., the 
former Chinatrust Financial Holding Co. vice chairman, to bear false witness 
that Chen had accepted kickbacks as part of a land deal in Longtan in Taoyuan 
County. This in turn has led to speculations that the only factor that would 
adequately such a phenomenon is the presence of a powerful, behind-the-scenes 
manipulator, which many believe is the current President, Ma Ying-jeou.

Lee Wen-cheng, who is also a member of Zion Presbyterian Church in Tainan 
Presbytery, said that the Ma administration’s instigation of false testimonies 
to put Chen behind bars is not only illegal and underhanded, but also an 
epitome of political persecution a la Beijing. “God will certainly judge Ma 
Ying-jeou with righteous judgment,” Lee said.

Chao Tien-lin, another DPP legislator and PCT member present at this protest, 
said that medical experts had reported that Chen Shui-bian’s condition was 
serious. Thus, he urged the Ma administration to release Chen on medical bail 
immediately on the grounds of humanitarian compassion, out of respect for a 
former president, and for the sake of furthering social harmony. 

PCT General Secretary Andrew Chang wrote an op-ed article recently wherein he 
said that the charges laid on Chen should be prosecuted based on solid evidence 
and the assumption that Chen is “innocent until proven guilty” – just like 
everyone else. Chang underscored that it was inappropriate for Chen to be 
charged with corruption by the media before a fair hearing with solid evidence 
has taken place. He added that it is even more inappropriate for a sitting 
president to use the authority of his office to influence the outcome of a 
trial and then claim that the verdict “did not live up to public expectations” 
when it doesn’t suit him

Chang urged the Ma administration to allow democracy and impartial judiciary to 
take their course in the whole trial process of Chen Shui-bian as this is the 
only way for Taiwan to become a genuinely democratic and free country where 
mutual trust and reconciliation between ethnic groups can flourish.  



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