Fri, Nov 03, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Three charged over Games protest

SMOKE AND MIRRORS:The veterans initially denied that they were involved in a violent scuffle with police that suspended the Universiade opening ceremony

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Yen Tsai-jen, front center, accompanied by a friend, leaves court in Taipei on bail on Aug. 21. Yen was one of three suspects indicted for creating a disturbance, assaulting police officers, obstructing officers in discharge of their duties and other related charges at the Taipei Summer Universiade on Aug. 19.

Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times

An investigation into violent incidents at the opening of this year’s Taipei Summer Universiade was completed yesterday, with three suspects whose actions prevented international athletes from entering the venue being charged, the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office said.

The three suspects, Yen Tsai-jen (顏才仁), who reportedly served in the marines and retired as a colonel, and two other retired army officers, Lee Yu-bin (李彧彬) and Chen Chin-tien (陳進添), were indicted for creating a disturbance, assaulting police officers, obstructing officers in discharge of their duties and other related charges.

Yen was said to be the spokesman for the so-called “Southern Taiwan Alliance for Resistance Against Tyranny,” a pensioner group composed of retired civil servants, military personnel and public-school teachers, who organized protests against pension reform.

Video footage showed the protesters engaged in scuffles outside the Taipei Municipal Stadium at the Aug. 19 Universiade opening ceremony, where Yen hit a police sergeant, surnamed Liu (劉), causing brusing to his face, Taipei Deputy Chief Prosecutor Chou Shih-yu (周士榆) said.

Chen was accused of throwing smoke flares, which at the time led to suspension of the Parade of Nations.

The release of the flares caused concerns of a possible terrorist attack, as President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and other government and Universiade officials were attending the opening ceremony.

The flares caused confusion and minor disorder among the crowd and international athletes.

During the investigation, all three suspects denied the accusations of creating a disturbance and assaulting police, but after prosecutors presented video footage and eyewitness accounts they retracted their statements.

“These protest groups engaged in illegal activities which caused grave damage to our nation’s image on the international stage. The authorities do not tolerate this type of deplorable behavior and we will work hard to identify all those responsible,” the Taipei Police Department said at the time.

Chen, Lee and Yen were yesterday released on a bail of NT$300,000, NT$200,000 and NT$100,000 respectively.

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