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AOC Approves Medical Treatment on Bail for Former President Chen

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Regarding former President Chen’s application for medical treatment on bail, former President Chen was found to be suffering from progressive neurodegeneration with degeneration occurring concurrently in a number of different brain areas based on multiple clinical symptoms according to the evaluation report presented by the expanded medical review committee on December 30, 2014. Under active treatment by the medical team of Taichung Veterans General Hospital and the meticulous care of the Taichung Prison, former President Chen had not demonstrated any significant improvement in symptoms other than for sleep apnea, showing that the current mode of medical treatment was still limited in its effectiveness. Following discussion by members of the medical review committee, it was concluded that the most likely factor for this phenomenon was that the current environment had failed to properly alleviate the stress experienced by former President Chen, resulting in the continuing deterioration of his physical ailments. For a patient who was once the head of state, former President Chen had indeed been greatly affected by his current life in imprisonment and had serious difficulties in making physical and mental adaptation. Hence, the medical review committee made the following suggestions: 1. Former President Chen needs to further increase the frequency of interaction with family members and the intensity of their support. Only by recuperating at home and leaving the current living environment can his present condition improve effectively. Already suffering from serious disabilities, both physically and mentally, and being incapable of carrying out activities of daily living, former President Chen requires round-the-clock care and assistance from a nursing attendant, and therefore, the committee has determined that effective treatment cannot be obtained in the prison. 2. According to the medical history of former President Chen for the past three years, which includes medical treatments within the prison and escorted medical treatments at hospitals (i.e. Taipei Veterans General Hospital and Taichung Veterans General Hospital), effects of treatments for his ailments had all been less than desirable. Considering the seriousness of his condition, it has been determined that only out-of-prison treatment can effectively ensure his well-being, preventing multiple deteriorations of his condition that may result in death at any time if not properly stabilized. Therefore, based on the results of this evaluation, it is suggested that the granting of medical treatment on bail ought to be preferred. 3. Based on the respect for a former head of state and the respect for the law, it is recommended by the committee that a medical team should still be set up for former President Chen while on medical treatment on bail if granted. On one hand, the medical team can provide the necessary assistance and information regarding the treatment of former President Chen, and, on the other hand, it can promptly provide the Agency of Corrections, Ministry of Justice with information on the progress of his treatment at home.  Based on the above-mentioned information, the Taichung Prison completed its preliminary review and submitted its report to the Agency of Corrections in the afternoon of December 31, 2014. The Agency of Corrections convened a meeting of the 10-member review committee at 09:00 a.m. on January 5, 2015 during which the committee consulted with the physicians involved over the phone for their opinions and comprehensively compared the differences in former President Chen’s conditions before and after. The committee determined that former President Chen’s condition had indeed deteriorated, finding him meeting the requirement of “being unable to receive proper medical treatment in prison” as prescribed in Article 58 of the Prison Act, and granted former President Chen one-month release for medical treatment on bail for him to receive more appropriate care and treatment. Related bail procedures will be followed and completed by the Taichung District Prosecutors Office and the Taichung Prison.  In the meantime, in early December 2014, the Ministry of Justice instructed the AOC to draw up a set of consistent criteria for assessing a prison inmate as “being unable to receive proper medical treatment in prison” that shall apply to all prison inmates in order to avert any humanitarian and fairness controversies raised by the outside.  The aforementioned medical treatment on bail is a temporary release of an inmate from prison under the premise of receiving medical treatment; however, once the inmate’s condition stabilizes, he/she must still return to the prison while his/her days outside the prison does not count toward time served. During the period, officers from the Taichung Prison, on the request of the Agency of Corrections, will be sent to observe carefully, making written and photo records that will serve as reference in the granting or refusal of an extension of the medical treatment on bail in the future.  With the one-month medical treatment on bail granted for former President Chen about to expire, the Taichung Prison sent officers to visit him at home and, after listening to the assessment report by the medical team of Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, prepared a report on the application for the extension of medical treatment on bail for an inmate to be submitted to the Agency of Corrections.  Having looked at the outcomes of the aforementioned home visit and the certificate of diagnosis, assessment of patient’s condition and treatment plan provided by the Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, the Agency of Corrections determined that former President Chen had not shown any significant improvement in his condition, finding him still meeting the criteria of “being unable to receive proper medical treatment in prison” and “being suffering from medical complications that are difficult to stabilize and may lead to death at any time”, as prescribed in Article 58 of the Prison Act and Point 5 of the Assessment Standards for Release for Medical Treatment on Bail for the Agency of Corrections respectively, and ultimately approved a 3-month extension to former President Chen’s release for medical treatment on bail effective until May 4, 2015. During the period of extension, the Taichung Prison would still send officers to check on any changes to the condition of former President Chen, which will be taken as the basis for the subsequent termination or extension of his release for medical treatment on bail.  The release for medical treatment on bail granted to former President Chen is a temporary release from prison by the Agency of Corrections for the purpose of receiving medical treatment in accordance with the Prison Act, and, following the stabilization of his condition, former President Chen must still return to the prison to serve his sentence. The prison sentence of former President Chen is based on confirmed guilty verdicts in 4 cases – the acceptance of bribes in the Longtan land purchase deal, the acceptance of bribes from Diana Chen for her appointment, money laundering in connection with the Longtan land purchase deal, and the part related the Yuanta-Fuhwa merger during the second-phase financial reform. Related defendants are required to deposit fines and pay back illegal gains in the value of NT$1,145,029,387.94. Current progress: 1. About US$22.61 million (about NT$710 million, being referred to as the “700 million overseas fund”) from accounts in two banks – the Royal Bank of Scotland Group in Switzerland and the Merrill Lynch Bank of Switzerland – have been remitted to a bank account designated by the prosecutors. 2. On the request of the prosecutors, the Swiss judicial authorities have agreed to return NT$200 million, a portion of the approximately US$17 million in illegal gains in connection with the second-phase financial reform in the bank account of Wegelin & Co.; however, pending the result of the challenge raised by Chen Chih-chung, the funds have yet to be repatriated. 3. Two properties in New York and Virginia have been seized and auctioned by the US judicial authorities, and the prosecutors have requested to share the US$1.89 million in proceeds. 4. Bank deposits by Wu Shu-chen, Wu Ching-mao, Chen Chih-chung and Huang Jui-ching in the amount of NT$48.15 million have been seized (the seizure of NT$22,763,150 in deposits of Wu Shu-chen and Wu Ching-mao already being carried out and NT$4,632,000 being returned after court ruling). 5. Thirty-seven stock shares under the name of Chen Chih-chung (worth NT$19.3 million) and 8 properties in Taiwan have been seized. Of these properties, the one at Polaris Garden Plaza has been sold but yet to be completed because of unsettled tax matters. From the information above, it can be concluded that, not only is there undeniable evidence to former President Chen’s wrongdoings, of which convictions have been affirmed by the Supreme Court, the large sum of assets seized also attests to the extent of his corruption. The granting of medical treatment on bail is not the acquittal of former President Chen and is definitely not the overturn of any wrongful conviction. A few people have disregarded such massive amount of evidence,still insisting that former President Chen has been hunted judicially and persecuted politically, and distorting the closing of the Palau money laundering case by the Special Investigation Division on “no substantial evidence found” as indication of the nonexistence of the “700 million overseas fund,” when in fact the amount of money that has already been tracked down for guilty convictions against him has far exceeded this number. To prevent people from continuing to confound right and wrong, thus misleading the public, facts are hereby clarified to ensure a proper understanding.

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