Taiwan’s former president Chen Shui-bian was released from prison on Monday on a one-month parole for medical treatment, Reuters reported.
The move came as Chen has served about five years of a 20-year jail sentence after being convicted of corruption in September 2009.
The former president’s illness remains undiagnosed, but his supporters say it involves nerve degeneration and sleep apnea, and could be life threatening.
“His condition will be reviewed monthly and may be extended if his medical status does not improve,” Chen Ming Tang, an official from Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice, was quoted as saying while announcing the parole.
“The terms of his release do not limit his activities but it is to be used predominantly for medical recuperation.”
The official denied that the parole was politically motivated and said that there have been no discussions of a full pardon.
Chen broke the ruling Kuomintang or Nationalist Party political hold on Taiwan in 2000 when he won the presidency.
He was sentenced to prison after losing the presidency to Nationalist leader Ma Ying-jeou in 2008.
His release comes after the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ramped up a campaign for his parole following a major victory in mayoral and regional elections in late November.
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