Taipei--Former President Chen Shui-bian (???), who is currently on medical parole after being convicted of corruption, will not be permitted to attend a memorial service Monday evening as requested, Taichung Prison said.
The prison said it denied Chen's request based on the ground that it would not be beneficial to his health to get out and attend a memorial service in Tainan for Tsai Yu-chuan (???), who once served as Chen's national policy adviser.
Tsai, an independence advocate, died of a heart attack on May 4 at the age of 66.
The prison's decision came a day after Chen attended an annual fundraising dinner held by the Ketagalan Foundation, a non-profit organization that he founded in 2003, last Friday in Taipei.
Taichung Prison, where Chen was incarcerated before being released on medical parole in 2015 with various ailments, gave the permission after Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital's medical team suggested that such a "functional treatment in a social setting" would be beneficial for Chen's medical condition.
The 66-year-old former president and leader of the current ruling party was allowed to attend the dinner on condition that he had to agree not to enter the main venue but instead meet his friends in a side room, not to give any speeches, discuss politics or speak to the media, and to return to his home Kaohsiung immediately after the dinner.
Chen, however, did not stick to the agreement, as he entered the main venue of the fundraiser and was seated at the main table. During the event, he addressed the gathering in a five-minute, pre-recorded video, questioning whether it would hurt the government if he spoke in public.
After about an hour and a half, he left the venue but did not immediately return to Kaohsiung as mandated by Taichung Prison.
According to sources close to the Chen family, he went to Banqiao in neighboring New Taipei to meet with several friends and might have stayed overnight because it was late.
In its statement Saturday denying Chen's latest request, Taichung Prison said it would review the matter of his apparent contravention of the conditions that applied to his attendance at the dinner.
Chen is bound by the regulations detailed in the warrant he signed for medical parole on Jan. 5, 2015, the prison reiterated.
Chen was convicted of corruption and sentenced to 20 years in prison shortly after the second term of his presidency ended in 2008. He was serving his sentence at Taichung Prison until January 2015, when he was released on medical parole due to various ailments and has since been living in Kaohsiung.
Last year Chen was allowed to attend Ketagalan Foundation's annual fundraising dinner but also was not allowed to mingle with the guests or make a speech. Instead, he was greeted in a side room by those who attended the event.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel