TAIPEI - The medical team assigned to assess former President Chen Shui-bian's request for medical parole collectively suggested yesterday after their third meeting that Chen should be given medical parole, according to local media.
The team of 15 focused on evaluating whether Chen Shui-bian's current health condition would place him in dire need of medical parole.
According to the Taichung prison's press release, the medical team exchanged expert opinions using Chen Shui-bian's medical reports.
The prison said that the fate of Chen Shui-bian's medical parole will be based on the medical committee's report that still has to be submitted to the Taichung Agency of Corrections for final approval. If the request is approved by the corrections agency, the Taichung District Prosecutors Office will then be taking care of the bail.
Unsure Of Parole Before Jan. 1: Luo
Justice Minister Luo Ying-shay said that she is unsure of whether Chen Shui-bian will be able to be released for medical parole before Jan. 1 since there remain many administrative procedures that need to be completed. Luo also added that the time period falls on the long New Year weekend.
Responding to Former Vice President Annette Lu saying that her hunger strike to protest Chen Shui-bian's medical parole request rejection was a result of being pushed over the edge by the Ministry of Justice, Luo said that "it is Lu's own doing" and that she did not instigate Lu.
According to Luo, the maximum time allowed for medical parole is one month. An extension for medical parole can be requested after the inmate's health condition is re-evaluated by doctors and prison authorities. The extension lasts anywhere between one month to three months.
Luo Should Step Down: Lu
Lu said that Luo should step down as justice minister due to "administrative inefficiency." Lu said that she announced her fast in the beginning of December and Chen Shui-bian's medical team was not assigned until Dec. 22. Lu said that Luo purposely delayed the first medical committee meeting.
Lu said that it is unfortunate that Chen Chi-chung told her to hold off on her hunger strike until after the medical committee writes their report. Lu said that Chen Chi-chung is young and impressionable. Regrettably Chen Chi-chung has become a messenger for the MOJ, said Lu.
Lu also called President Ma Ying-jeou's government heartless for ignoring her hunger strike. Lu asked everyone to shed the same degree of compassion for Chen Shui-bian as they did for the deceased hippopotamus.