A-bien’s son hopes dad can come to banquet
Chen Chi-chung ( ) sought the attendance of his father, former-President Chen Shui-bian ( ), at a banquet planned for May by the Ketagalan Institute (
). The ex-president’s son posted his comments yesterday on his Facebook page, adding that his father only wants to take the opportunity to thank his friends, “not to sound off on politics.”
The former president was released on medical parole on Jan. 5 and has since been residing at the Chen family residence in Kaohsiung. He has served six years of a life sentence at Taichung Prison (
), which was subsequently reduced to 19 years.
The office of the former president says that Chen’s attendance is conditional on his current state of health and whether or not approval is granted by the Ministry of Justice. Chen’s son added that in the past six years, his father has not had the opportunity to thank those who have supported him throughout the years due to his prison term.
The Ketagalan Institute was established by Chen and other members of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in 2003. The banquet, which will commemorate a decade since the Institute’s establishment, will be attended by DPP heavyweights including the Institute’s Chairman Chen Tan-shan ( ), Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (
), and Legislator Chen Chimai ( ). Chen Chi-chung is expected also to personally invite DPP Chairwoman and 2016 presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (
) and former Vice President Annette Lu ( ).
The event is set for May 1 with
80 banquet tables planned.
Officials of the Taichung Prison stated yesterday that Chen’s plans to attend the banquet do not meet with the conditions of his medical parole, though they have yet to receive a written request from Chen or his family members. Reports indicate that since the event is not related to medical treatment, the likelihood of the Chen family filing an application is low.
Chen served as R.O.C. president from 2000-2008, and was subsequently convicted on corruption charges after he left office. The Taichung District Prosecutor’s Office ruled in January that Chen be allowed medical parole for a period of one month, setting bail at NT$2 million.