Chiang grandson defends self over threatening TAS

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Sat, Nov 09, 2013 - Page 1

The grandson of late president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) yesterday defended himself against accusations that he had made explicit threats against the Taipei American School (TAS), saying it was the school that should be held responsible.

Andrew Chiang (蔣友青), the son of Chiang Ching-kuo’s youngest son, Chiang Hsiao-yung (蔣孝勇), may face charges for several comments he allegedly disseminated via Facebook and e-mail since August stating his intention to harm to the school, and especially its administrators.

Prosecutors questioned him yesterday and sought unsuccessfully to have him detained.

Walking out of the court building, a visibly agitated Andrew Chiang denied any wrongdoing and accused TAS of exaggerating his messages.

He said the school “slandered” him and “blew his words out of proportion” after he got into an argument with the school over a sports injury he sustained while a student there.

He said that his ankle was damaged three years ago because someone forced him to play while injured, but did not identify who it was.

Surrounded by reporters, he described himself as “unstable” because “I woke up this morning to find four policemen in my home and I’ve been bombarded the whole day [by investigators].”

“They told me I could be locked up for three years for some comments I made on Facebook and now I have to face 50 or maybe 30 reporters,” the 23-year-old said.

Chiang was taken to the Shihlin District Prosecutors’ Office for questioning yesterday morning and left the court building in the early evening after posting NT$80,000 bail.

The court ordered him not to harass, threaten or come close to TAS faculty members, students and witnesses.

Following Andrew Chiang’s release, TAS issued a statement saying it would make no further comment on the matter other than to thank law enforcement authorities for helping safeguard the safety and security of all community members.

“The leadership of Taipei American School is making every effort to ensure the safety and security of the entire TAS community,” the statement said.

“We ask that the media respect the privacy of our students and families as we navigate this legal process,” it said.

Included in the statement was a letter addressed to the TAS community dated Oct. 29 by school superintendent Sharon Hennessy, in which she said the school has filed formal charges against the person suspected of being behind the threats the school was made aware of early last month, and had requested a restraining order.

Hennessy said she wrote the letter after a parent inquired about the increased security around TAS at its annual general meeting earlier that day.

In the letter, Hennessy did not reveal the identity of the suspect, referring to him only as a former student of the school.

She said the school was made aware of threats to harm people at the school — specifically the administrators — that appeared on Facebook, adding that the school took the threats seriously and its response to the threats was immediate and comprehensive.

The regional security officer from the American Institute in Taiwan responded immediately and worked with the school to engage law enforcement officials in the effort to assess the risk and immediately increase police presence and security at the school, he said.

Andrew Chiang is the youngest of the three sons of Chiang Hsiao-yung.

In a statement, Andrew Chiang’s eldest brother, Demos Chiang (蔣友柏), said Andrew Chiang is an adult who should take full responsibility for his words and actions.