Fri, Jun 25, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Slice of pork proves Chen didn't shoot himself: CIB

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Judy Cheng, director of the Criminal Investigation Bureau's Forensic Science Center demonstrates the results of a simulation of the March 19 shooting of President Chen Shui-bian and Annette Lu. The bullet from the homemade gun could have penetrated the glass windscreen of the Jeep Chen was traveling in, torn through his clothing, wounded him and coming to rest inside his clothing. The findings are consistent with the results from a prior investigation.

PHOTO: CNA

The result of a simulated shooting test proved our allegations that March 19 assassination attempt to President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) was not self-inflicted, Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) Commissioner Hou You-yi (侯友宜) said yesterday.

"To prove our previous allegations and analysis as well as [forensics specialist] Henry Lee's (李昌鈺) analysis, we carried out a simulated shooting test on June 15, and the result of the experiment says it all," said Hou.

The bureau, which is the country's top criminal investigation unit, held a press conference yesterday morning to update the public about the latest developments of the investigation. Hou said that it was the first time for the police to produce a homemade gun and bullets to carry out such an experiment.

However, the bureau's experiment has not lead to any arrests of suspects, while Hou said that investigators are on the right track with their work.

Judy Cheng (程曉桂), the director of the bureau's Forensic Science Center, played the video footage of the experiment during the press conference. In the video, an officer used a homemade pistol -- the suspected weapon used by the gunman -- aimed at a plastic model which represented the president's position, and opened fire.

On the plastic model, a piece of raw pork was tied on the stomach, and the same clothes the president wore on March 19 were put on the model.

After the shot, the homemade bullet penetrated the clothing, but did not go through the model and created a scratch on the skin of the pork. The bullet eventually stopped and dropped between the pork and the underwear, which matched exactly what happened to the president during the shooting.

"For the test, we tried to simulate all of the known circumstances of the incident. We will submit the results to Dr. Lee for his reference, as he is wrapping up his analysis and report on the case," Hou said.

Lee, a US-based American-Chinese forensic scientist, came to Taiwan to help investigators with the case on April 8 and tried to recreate the crime scene using state-of-the-art laser equipment. Lee said earlier that the final analysis and report on his work will be available in September.

During his visit in Taiwan, Lee suggested police carry out a shooting test, because there could be many surprising factors about the case which forensic scientists would have difficulties uncovering, since the crime was committed with homemade pistols and bullets.

Even as the bureau updated the public about the case, yesterday's conference was criticized as a "special response" to the vice president.

During a phone interview with a local TV station on Wednesday night, Lu said that "somebody should take responsibility if no progress has been made during the past 100 days."

March 26 will be the 100th day after the incident, and Chen has urged Public State Prosecutor-General Lu Jen-fa (盧仁發) and Hou to provide the latest developments in the case.

If investigators still have no clue about the crime, maybe "it is time to have new chiefs for the forces, including the police and the prosecutor's office," Lu said.

Hou denied that law enforcement officers were working under pressure, and said that yesterday's announcement had nothing to do with the president's request.

"We have been preparing for the press conference for a week. It would be impossible for the president to request results and for us to immediately come up with something to please him the very next day," Hou said. "Everybody wants to close this case as soon as possible."

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