Mon, Sep 20, 1999 - Page 1 News List

Suspected murderer of former Taoyuan County official escapes police

LAW ENFORCEMENT The chief suspect in the 1996 murder of a county commissioner threw his escorts to the ground and jumped into a waiting sedan yesterday

STAFF WRITER

A chief suspect in the 1996 murder of former Taoyuan County commissioner Liu Pang-you (劉邦友) escaped from police custody yesterday after he was taken out for police investigation.

Yang Shih-kang (楊世剛) reportedly threw his police escorts to the ground as they came out of the office of Yang's lawyer in Taoyuan City, he then jumped into a silver Mistubishi sedan waiting on the street. Yang was still in handcuffs and shackles when he escaped.

Police said Yang's escape appeared to be well-planned, and suspected that information had been leaked to Yang's accomplices about the investigation schedule yesterday.

Yang, who has a heavy criminal record, reportedly escaped to Cambodia after a police investigation linked him to the murder of Taoyuan County commissioner Liu Pang-you.

Yang was arrested in July, however, after he snuck back into Taiwan with a heavy cache of weapons and ammunitions. The weapons included an Uzi submachine gun and a shotgun.

Since then, Yang has helped police find two more guns he had hidden in various places around Taoyuan. Yesterday, police were taking him to Yangmei township to find another Chinese AK-47 rifle he claimed to have hidden there.

Police immediately launched a search operation after Yang's escape, but found no trace of him. Police say they are concerned that he may flee the country again with the help of illegal smuggling rings, or possibly commit even more crimes with the heavy arsenal apparently at his disposal.

Liu and eight other people, including two county councilors, were shot execution-style in his house in Taoyuan on Nov. 24, 1996. A number of suspects have been detained since the slaying, but the case remains unsolved to this day, causing embarrassment for investigators.

Since the murder, allegations have surfaced regarding Liu's dealings with local businessmen involving both real estate and entertainment developments, and some have suggested that his killing may have been the result of a dispute with one of them over money.

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