Taiwan's former president attempts suicide

Chen Shui-bian, currently jailed for corruption, stopped by guards as he tried to use a towel to kill himself.

    Taiwan's former president attempts suicide
    Chen Shui-bian is serving a 20-year sentence for corruption offences during his tenure [Reuters]

    Taiwan's imprisoned former President Chen Shui-bian tried to kill himself but was stopped by guards, the Justice Ministry said.

    A ministry statement said Chen used a towel to try to kill himself on Sunday night in a bathroom at Taichung prison in central Taiwan.

    It did not elaborate on how the towel was used.

    Without commenting on any injuries Chen may have suffered, the statement said he was in stable condition on Monday at the prison, which is part of a hospital compound.

    The 62-year-old is serving a 20-year sentence for corruption offences committed during his 2000-2008 presidential tenure.

    The statement quoted Chen as saying that he tried to take his own life to protest against his corruption conviction, part of which was based on his use of a special presidential fund to carry out secret Taiwanese diplomacy.

    Medical parole

    Chen has been receiving medical treatment in recent months for a series of health problems, including a heart condition.

    His office has been pressing for his release on medical parole, citing his poor health and his depressed state of mind.

    Last week Chen announced he was applying for readmission to the Democratic Progressive Party, the main opposition grouping, which he led during his presidency.

    He left the party of his own volition after leaving the presidency in 2008.

    The party has not formally responded to Chen's application, but current party leaders have made it clear they fear that his readmission could harm their attempts to cleanse the party of the aura of corruption.

    SOURCE: Associated Press


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.