The Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday denied media reports that a key section of surveillance footage that may have offered insights into the death of army corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘) was blank because military personnel had covered the cameras with black cloth to hide foul play.
“The Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office did not say that,” office spokesman Dai Wen-liang (戴文亮) said.
However, a source with the Taiwan High Court’s Prosecutors’ Office said prosecutors did suspect that three closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras that covered Hung and his drills were covered by black cloth, so the footage was black as a result.
Dai said district prosecutors yesterday gained access to the military detention barracks in Yangmei Township (楊梅), Taoyuan County, to search for evidence for a second time.
Meanwhile, Hung’s family members were allowed to inspect the missing section of surveillance footage at the Military High Court’s Prosecutors’ Office’s Taichung branch.
They were also allowed to inspect surveillance footage that recorded Hung being sent to a hospital in Yangmei on July 3 and Tri-Service General Hospital the next day.
In other developments, the Military High Court’s Prosecutors’ Office yesterday requested the Military High Court detain vice company director of 542nd Brigade, Captain Liu Yen-chun (劉延俊).
Chief military prosecutor Major General Tsao Chin-sheng (曹金生) said Liu could possibly collude with others if he was free.
Tsao said a key 80-minute portion of footage from the CCTV cameras monitoring an area of a military detention barracks where Hung was forced to perform strenuous exercises as part of his punishment was blank because all 16 cameras had stopped working.
Hung’s family and others have suggested that foul play may be behind the missing footage, which covered 2pm to 3:20pm on July 1.
Hung collapsed from heatstroke after drill exercises on July 3 and died in hospital a day later, just three days before he was due to be discharged from his compulsory military service.
Tens of thousands protesters demonstrated in front of the Ministry of National Defense in Taipei on Saturday, demanding that the military reveal the truth about Hung’s death and bring the perpetrators to justice.
In other developments, the 542nd Brigade said a soldier tried to commit suicide by swallowing sleeping pills yesterday after quarreling with another soldier. He was sent to a hospital for treatment and has returned to the base, it said.