Hunger-striking ex-Taiwan president hospitalised

 

Former Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian was hospitalised today, after going on a hunger strike to protest his arrest on money-laundering and corruption allegations he claims are politically motivated, his lawyer said.

Mr Chen was taken to Far Eastern Hospital after going for nearly five days without food, said his lawyer, Cheng Wen-long, adding that the former president was vomiting stomach acid before being taken to the hospital.

"He wants to protest the judicial system's injustice toward him," Mr Cheng said.

The former president began his hunger strike on Wednesday, the day he was formally arrested in connection with several cases, including one involving alleged money laundering and another the misuse of government funds.

Mr Chen left office in May when he was replaced by the opposition Nationalist Party candidate Ma Ying-jeou, and has tried to cast himself as a victim of score-settling by the Nationalists amid the current investigation.

The prosecutor's office has yet to formally indict Mr Chen, but has listed five possible charges: graft, seizure of public assets, taking advantage of office to illegally obtain public assets, taking bribes and forgery.