Jailed Taiwan ex-president diagnosed with "severe depression"

Featured - October 6th, 2012

Taiwan’s imprisoned former president Chen Shui-bian has been diagnosed with “severe depression and anxiety disorder”, a hospital said Thursday.

Mr. Chen is serving a 17 years and six months in prison after being convicted on bribery charges in 2009 over two high-profile cases involving a land deal and a personnel appointment.

He is also facing additional graft charges which stem from actions during his term as president from 2000 to 2008.

“Chen is diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety disorder, both of which have become chronic,” the Taipei Veterans General Hospital said. According to a statement from the hospital, Mr. Chen developed a speech impediment which may be caused by mental illness or a degeneration of the brain and sleep apnoea – a sleeping disorder. The hospital also found problems with his prostate.

The 61-year old was brought to a hospital near the prison last month suffering from urinary problems and was later transferred to the Taipei Veterans General Hospital, AFP reports. The hospital recommended specialised treatment.

Mr. Chen was diagnosed with coronary heart disease and sought bail earlier this year. The Justice ministry denied the medical parole claiming that he could get proper treatment in prison.