Chen's son off to work instead of going to jail

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 September, 2011, 12:00am


The convicted son of jailed ex-Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian started his 546 hours of community service yesterday in lieu of a three-month prison sentence for perjury.

The work was considered relatively easy for the US-educated Chen Chih-chung (pictured), as he was asked to teach English and help code library publications at Kaohsiung prison in southern Taiwan on weekdays.

Prison warden Lee Cheng-nan said Chen Chih-chung was also required to perform cleaning duties at a health-care centre in Kaohsiung county on weekends and holidays. The ex-leader's son could work, at most, 12 hours a day, Lee said.

Taiwan's Supreme Court sentenced Chen Chih-chung to three months in prison early last month for perjury in his father's corruption case, for which the former president was sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison. The junior Chen was stripped of his post on the Kaohsiung City Council in mid-August. He was later granted permission to perform community service in lieu of the prison term, in line with local laws.

Insisting that his conviction was politically motivated, the junior Chen declared on September 1 his intention to run for legislator so that he could help others 'tackle unfair judgments' and find justice. If he works eight hours a day, he should complete his 546-hour sentence before the candidacy registration deadline on November 25.