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May 27, 2017

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Legal study needed on Chen pardon: official

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- More legal study is needed on the issue of whether to grant a special pardon to former President Chen Shu-bian, a Presidential Office official said Tuesday.

In handling the issue, the government's main principle is to avoid further confrontation between people of different political affiliations, according to Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang.

The top priority at present, Huang said, is to ensure that the former president receives the best medical care and sees his health improve, Huang said.

He was responding to a call by Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu that the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen should deal with the issue of whether to pardon Chen Shui-bian "rapidly, legally, fairly and reasonably."

The mayor said the issue is both legal and political and that the new government should be as tolerant as possible when dealing with political issues.

Chen Shui-bian, who was in office from 2000 to 2008, has served more than six years of a 20-year prison term for several corruption convictions.

He has been out of jail on medical parole since January 2015 with several medical conditions, including depression, suspected Parkinson's disease and brain atrophy.

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