Army Commander General Lee Hsiang-chou (李翔宙) last night bowed and apologized to the public and the family of late army corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘), pledging to get to the bottom of the closely watched case and bring all responsible parties to justice.
“The army is definitely not a criminal organization and does not tolerate any criminal-like behavior … The army commander’s investigation task force will conduct a thorough probe into Hung’s case based on the principles of zero tolerance for violations of the laws and regulations,” Lee said at a press conference that was held at the Ministry of National Defense.
Lee said he had promised Hung’s family to “put himself in their position and adopt a responsible attitude” in handling the unfortunate incident, adding that he humbly accepted the opinions, criticism and advice voiced by members from all sectors of society over the case.
Military prosecutors yesterday summoned key military personnel for questioning in the case surrounding the July 4 death of the 23-year-old army corporal.
First Sergeant of the army’s 542nd Brigade Chen Yi-jen (陳以人), Staff Sergeant Fan Tso-hsien (范佐憲), Major Hsu Shin-cheng (徐信正), discharged military doctor Lu Meng-ying (呂孟穎) and discharged soldier Liu Hsuan-yang (劉烜揚) were questioned in the Military High Court’s Prosecutors’ Office over the circumstances leading to Hung’s death.
The vice commander of the army’s 542nd Brigade, Colonel Ho Chiang-chung (何江忠), was detained on Tuesday over his suspected role in Hung’s case. Ho is the first senior military official to be detained in the investigation.
Before entering the Military High Court’s Prosecutors’ Office, Liu, who was Hung’s friend, told reporters that Fan should have been detained.
“I will tell military prosecutors what I have said in the media,” he added.
Liu gave several interviews earlier this week and alleged that Chen and Fan were the two key people involved in Hung’s death.
Liu said that Hung was responsible for having vehicles of 542nd Brigade repaired outside the base. Liu said Chen and Fan resented Hung’s life being “too good” and asked the vice commander of the brigade, Colonel Ho Chiang-chung, to have Hung confined.
Hung was serving in the army’s 542nd Brigade in Hsinchu County and was due to be discharged on July 6. He was transferred to the 269th Brigade in Taoyuan on June 28 for disciplinary reasons after he brought a smartphone with a camera onto the base.
On July 3, Hung suffered heat exhaustion during a training session — he was still in confinement earlier that day — and was sent to a military hospital in Taipei.
Hung died at the hospital of multiple organ failure after efforts to resuscitate him failed.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said it was “concerned and angry” about Hung’s death and has established two panels at DPP headquarters and its legislative caucus to monitor human rights cases in the military.
“The DPP demands the government seek the truth behind Hung’s death, hold those responsible accountable and reform the military,” DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said after the party’s weekly Central Standing Committee meeting.
The committee reached a resolution to establish a seven-member military human rights reform panel, which would be convened by former premier Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃) and include DPP Deputy Secretary-General Lee Chun-yi (李俊毅), and legislators Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬), Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡), Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) and Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌), Su said.
“Discipline should never be a reason for committing a crime,” he said, adding that the panel would work on amending legislation to further protect human rights in the military.
The chairman also said the DPP supported a protest planned for Saturday in front of the ministry, organized by a rights group called Citizen 1985.
Meanwhile, the DPP caucus announced the establishment of a seven-member panel on military human rights investigation and legislation, which included Gao Jyh-peng, Wu Ping-jui, Liu Chao-hao (劉櫂豪), Yu Mei-nu (尤美女), Wu Yi-chen (吳宜臻), Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) and Lee Ying-yuan (李應元).
Additional reporting by staff writer, with CNA
‘DEMOCRATIC FISH’: Soichiro Hayashi said he wants to return Taiwan’s kindness after it helped with relief efforts after the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami Japanese fish farmers are ready to help Taiwan after China banned Taiwanese grouper imports, the Sankei Shimbun reported yesterday. The Chinese General Administration of Customs suspended imports of the fish on Monday last week, citing prohibited chemicals and excessive levels of oxytetracycline allegedly found in grouper imports since December last year. Soichiro Hayashi, president of the Hayashi Trout Farm in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture, is leading the push for Taiwanese grouper imports, the newspaper said. His call has caught the attention of several large sushi chains, the report said. Hayashi, who is the Fukushima branch head of the Friends of Lee Teng-hui Association in Japan,
‘TROJAN HORSE’ SCHEME: The comment that a bridge would allow China’s PLA to easily launch an attack shows ‘a lack of backbone,’ Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said Critics accused Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) of being oblivious to national security concerns after he proposed constructing a bridge to link Kinmen and China’s Xiamen (廈門). Ko, who is also the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) chairman, made the proposal when presiding over the opening ceremony of the party’s office in Kinmen on Saturday. He said the bridge could solve Kinmen’s population, electricity and garbage problems, as well as serve as a shortcut for leaving or entering Taiwan without traveling via Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport). He also proposed building a hospital in Kinmen to attract people who are seeking medical treatment in
OVER THE HUMP: In a seven-day period ending on Wednesday, the nation reported 366,628 new cases, down 19 percent from the 451,358 reported in the previous week The nation might further open up to more arrivals in the next two months, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 48,283 new local COVID-19 cases, down from more than 50,000 in the previous few days. Taiwan on Wednesday last week introduced a plan to allow up to 25,000 arrivals per week as part of efforts to gradually reopen borders, which includes reducing mandatory quarantines for inbound travelers from seven to three days, followed by four days in “self-initiated epidemic prevention.” The quota covers inbound Taiwanese arrivals, businesspeople and migrant workers. Former vice president Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) yesterday said
The Ministry of National Defense yesterday said it is monitoring Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy ship movements near Taiwan, after the Japanese Ministry of Defense disclosed that Chinese vessels made a rare voyage between Yilan County and Japan’s Yonaguni. The Japanese ministry on Wednesday said that two Chinese navy ships on Tuesday diverted from their usual route of entering the Pacific Ocean via the Miyako Strait and for the first time traveled there between Yilan and Yonaguni. The Japan Self-Defense Forces said that it picked up the presence of China’s Type-056A Jiangdao-class corvette 220km north of Yonaguni at 9am on Tuesday. The