Tue, Oct 28, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Retrial of Hsichih murder trio starts

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Defendants Liu Bing-lang, Chuang Lin-hsun and Su Chien-ho, from left to right, on their way to the rehearing of the Hsichih Trio murder trial at the Taiwan High Court yesterday.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

The Taiwan High Court held a rehearing of the 12-year-old Hsichih Trio murder case yesterday.

The rehearing was ordered by the Supreme Court on Aug. 8, after an appeal filed by prosecutors on behalf of the victims' family.

"The trio -- Liu Bing-lang (劉秉郎), Su Chien-ho (蘇建和) and Chuang Lin-hsun (莊林勳) -- are innocent and have already been acquitted. The murderer, Wang Wen-hsiao (王文孝), was executed on Jan. 11, 1992. Our government should not be wasting the nation's resour-ces on any retrial, as no criminal evidence has been found against the trio," said Hsu Wen-pin (許文彬), one of the defendants' lawyers.

Before the hearing, the defendants' lawyers and human-rights groups held a press conference in front of the High Court.

Su told reporters that he was innocent of the murders.

"I have been doing volunteer work [since the acquittal and release from prison] and am feeling very happy. All I can say is that I am innocent," he said.

"If the trio is found guilty again, according to legal procedures, the defendant's lawyer will be able to take the case to the Supreme Court. However, this has never happened before in Taiwan's legal history," said Wu Jia-zhen (吳佳臻), the office coordinator for the Taiwan Association for Human Rights (台灣人權促進協會).

The younger brother of one of the victims, Wu Ming-tsorng (吳銘聰), complained yesterday that the rehearing was not going to be broadcast live and said the decision might have been politically motivated.

"During the last appeal, the court session was broadcast live to the public, but not this time. I suspect it might be due to the intervention of higher powers that the session will not be watched live," Wu said.

The trio were convicted in March 1991 of the murders of Wu Ming-han and his wife, Yeh Ying-lan. Wang was executed for the robbery and murder. Before his execution, Wang told police that the three men, all in their late teens at the time, helped him kill the couple, who died of multiple stab wounds. The three men admitted assisting Wang but later said they were innocent and confessed only after being tortured by police.

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