Wed, Jul 09, 2003 - Page 3 News List

MOFA offers to help teen murder suspect in the US

By Monique Chu  /  STAFF REPORTER WITH AGENCIES

The government will attempt to offer administrative assistance, if needed, to a Taiwanese-American student arrested on Sunday in connection with a triple homicide, said Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Richard Shih (石瑞琦) yesterday.

"Our representative office in New York City has contacted a local prosecutor who confirmed the arrest of the student, surnamed Wu .... Our offices in New York City and Chicago will offer Wu administrative aid if necessary," Shih said.

Shih made the comments following wire-service reports from the US on Monday that Wu Meng-ju, a 19-year-old University of Wisconsin freshman, was arrested in New York City on Sunday on charges of first-degree murder in the deaths of three men in Wisconsin last month.

Shih said any assistance from the government should not be interpreted as a move to try to influence or interfere with US judicial procedures.

"We learned that he may be extradited to Wisconsin to stand trial," Shih said.

Wu is originally from Taiwan and reportedly planned to fly to this country, wire-service reports said.

Shih said the government has no further information on the student's background so far.

According to the reports, the University of Wisconsin said its records show that Wu is holds permanent residency in the US and was majoring in Chinese.

The reports said that the bodies of the three young men, ranging in age from 17 to 28, were found with gunshot wounds on June 26.

Verona police chief Bernie Coughlin was quoted as saying Wu was connected with the victims.

The reports said a criminal complaint filed Monday in Dane County Circuit Court said Wu befriended Jason McGuigan, one of the victims, because he wanted to gamble and that McGuigan had set up an offshore betting account for him and advised him on which teams to bet on.

Wu had reportedly lost about US$15,000 gambling over the past three months.

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