Chen Shui-bian returns to prison after treatment

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 March, 2012, 12:00am

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Jailed former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian returned to prison yesterday after a week of hospital treatment for cardiac problems.

'He has completed all necessary medical checks and relevant treatments, and doctors found him fit to return to prison,' said a spokesman for Taipei Prison, where Chen is serving a 17 1/2-year term for graft.

Chen was taken to Taoyuan General Hospital on March 5 for a thorough check-up after he complained of digestive and heart problems. He was later found to have a coronary artery problem and was given balloon angioplasty treatment, which successfully restored his regular blood flow, doctors said.

A dozen of his supporters blocked the hospital driveway yesterday as the ex-president was being taken back to prison, with several people scuffling with police when one tried to jump onto the vehicle carrying Chen. Some shouted 'Chen Shui-bian, innocent', and called for him to be given parole on medical grounds.

Chen has said his imprisonment was politically motivated and that his successor, mainland-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou, wanted him behind bars to appease Beijing, which was upset by Chen's calls for Taiwanese independence.