Fri, May 30, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Ex-defense boss told to pay NT$14.7m

WRONGFUL EXECUTION:The Judicial Reform Foundation said the military officials involved in the death of Chiang Kuo-ching should also be held criminally accountable

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

The mother of Chiang Kuo-ching, who in September 2011 was acquitted of the rape and murder of a girl for which he was executed 15 years ago, holds a picture of her son at an event organized by the Judicial Reform Foundation at the Central Arts and Literature Park in Taipei on Oct. 7, 2012.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

The Taipei District Court yesterday ruled in favor of the Ministry of National Defense against former minister of national defense Chen Chao-min (陳肇敏) over a miscarriage of justice 18 years ago in which 21-year-old air force serviceman Chiang Kuo-ching (江國慶) was wrongly executed.

According to the ruling, Chen and other military officials responsible for the wrongful conviction of Chiang in 1996 and his execution the following year were liable to compensate the ministry a total of NT$59.55 million (US$1.98 million).

In a posthumous ruling in 2011, Chiang was acquitted of the charges that he sexually abused and murdered a five-year-old girl.

His case was reopened only after the Control Yuan found in 2010 that Chiang had been tortured by military investigators before a speedy trial ordered by Chen, who was then the air force commander-in-chief.

After offering Chiang’s family NT$130 million in 2011 in compensation for his death, the ministry sued Chen and other military officials involved in the wrongful execution in 2012, because they had refused to admit guilt for the case, except for former counterintelligence agent Teng Chun-huan (鄧震環), who had paid the ministry NT$2.8 million.

The ministry demanded that Chen, former air force command legal department director Tsao Chai-sheng (曹嘉生), former military prosecutor Huang Jui-peng (黃瑞鵬) and air force counterintelligence officials Ko Chung-ching (柯仲慶), Ho Tsu-yao (何祖耀) and the heirs of Lee Chih-jen (李植仁), pay the ministry NT$14.74 million each.

The Taipei District Court ordered Chen and Ko to pay the ministry NT$14.74 million each, Tsao and Ho NT$8.59 million each, and Lee’s children NT$12.89 million, while Huang was found not liable for compensation.

The ruling was not a final verdict.

“We will consider whether to appeal the ruling after we read the court’s judgement,” said Yang Tsung-chien (楊從健), head of the Military Northern District Court, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the ministry.

The ministry respected the ruling, but the amount of compensation imposed on the defendants was short of what the ministry had requested, Yang said.

Judicial Reform Foundation executive director Kao Jung-chih (高榮志) commended the ruling, but said that an investigation by prosecutors at the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office should quicken its pace and the military officials involved should be held criminally accountable.

“It’s been a year and a half since the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office’s decision not to indict Chen and the others involved was rejected by the Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office. The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office could be abusing its power by not prosecuting the military officials involved,” Kao said.

Chen could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Ho complained about the ruling to reporters last night.

He said he did not intend to have Chiang falsely convicted, adding that he only did what he was told to do.

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