Fri, Aug 27, 2010 - Page 1 News List

Weng Chi-nan murder solved, Hu says

DETECTIVE WORKMinister of the Interior Jiang Yi-huah said Liao Kuo-hao's surrender was the result of hard work by police and showed officers didn’t give up

By Jimmy Chuang and Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTERS, WITH CNA

Taichung City police escort a handcuffed Liao Kuo-hao after he turned himself in on Wednesday night in connection with the murder of alleged gangster Weng Chi-nan on May 28 at his Taichung office. Liao surrendered in Taipei and then traveled with a police escort by high-speed rail to Taichung.

PHOTO: LIAO HUI-TUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) last night announced that police had cracked the high-profile murder of Weng Chi-nan (翁奇楠) after a 17-year-old, Liao Kuo-hao (廖國豪), turned himself in on Wednesday night and confessed.

"A meeting will soon be arranged between Liao and the other suspects we have in custody [in the Weng case] to try to learn more details of the murder," Taichung City Police Department Deputy Chief Yu Hui-mao )余輝茂) said.

Liao turned himself in to police on Wednesday night after getting in touch with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Justin Chou (周守訓) through one of Chou's supporters to say he wanted to surrender.

After verifying Liao’s identity, Chou called Taichung City Police Chief Chiu Feng-kuang (邱豐光) to arrange for the teenager to turn himself in.

Taichung police officers later escorted Liao from Taipei to Taichung by high-speed rail.

Weng, an alleged gangster, was killed in a hail of bullets in his office in Taichung on May 28.

There was widespread outcry when it was later discovered that four police officers had been at his office playing mahjong at the time, but did not intervene in the murder.

Several other suspects, including Lin Ying-hao (李英豪), who allegedly drove Liao to and from Weng's office the day of the shooting, are under arrest.

Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) said the next step would be to gain a thorough understanding of the time-line of the crime and find the murder weapon and other evidence.

"Prosecutors and police need to get to the bottom of this crime," he said. "There should be no fish that escape the net."

Liao was escorted by police yesterday morning to locations along the road from Taichung City to Taiping City (太平市) in Taichung County, where he claimed he disposed of parts of the two pistols he used.

The search for the pieces was ongoing as of press time.

Taichung prosecutors said Liao’s case would be heard by the Taichung Juvenile Court after police had finished questioning him.

The Juvenile Court might transfer Liao to the Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office for more questioning because the felony charges he might face carry a prison sentence of more than five years.

Minister of the Interior Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) told reporters on the sidelines of an event at Taiwan Police College (TPC) that Liao's surrender was the result of hard work by police.

It showed that police officers had not given up on the case and the shooter had not fled the country.

"Immediately after the murder, a special police task force identified this as a well-planned and complicated case, involving not only the gunman, but also a driver and a behind-the-scenes mastermind," Jiang said.

"Although some people said the police would never catch the gunman because high-ranking officers were involved and that the murderer had escaped to China, the police were actually in total control," he said.

"I wouldn't say we knew where Liao was at the beginning, but we were certain that he was in the country. That's why officers looked for the people who were helping him, to force him out," Jiang said.

Speaking to the TPC graduates, Jiang urged them to learn from controversies surrounding police discipline following Weng’s murder.

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