Tue, Dec 21, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Mayor honors forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee


Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) granted honorary Taipei citizenship to Dr. Henry Lee (李昌鈺), the famous Chinese-American forensic scientist, on Monday in recognition of his assistance in training the city's forensic personnel.

Lee was born in Jiangsu province, China, and came to Taiwan at the end of the Chinese Civil War when he was six.

He graduated in 1960 from the Taiwan Central Police College with a degree in Police Science.

Lee became the youngest captain in modern Chinese history when he was promoted at the age of 22 during his service at the Taipei City Police Headquarters.

Ma said Lee has in recent years, helped the Taipei City Police Headquarters train a new generation of forensic professionals.

"The conferment of honorary citizenship represents our gratitude for Lee's contributions to our forensic-investigation work," Ma said.

Lee is the ninth non-Taipei citizen to obtain the honor since the Taipei City Government set up the system for individuals who have made significant contributions to the city.

Lee, who is currently on an eight-day visit to Taipei, said he was honored to receive the honor.

Earlier in the day, Lee visited the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB) to discuss preparations for an international seminar on forensic science to be held in Taiwan next year.

Lee, who conducted a forensic investigation into the March 19 presidential election-eve shooting of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) this summer, said that if time permits, he will also visit the Criminal Investigation Bureau to learn the latest developments in the case.

Asked about his view on the controversial "319 truth commission" formed by the opposition-controlled Legislative Yuan to pursue look into the mysterious shooting, Lee said he recognizes the necessity of setting up a special commission to look into the high-profile incident, but he added that the investigative work itself should be handled by the CIB.

"It's all too common in foreign countries to form a supra-ministerial and non-political commission to pursue the truth behind major cases that have caused widespread public concerns, " Lee said, adding that the most important thing is that the commission should transcend "ministries and politics."

Noting that the gist of forensic work lies in "letting the evidence speak for itself," Lee said the conclusion of his forensic investigation of the March 19 shooting is that President Chen indeed sustained a gunshot wound.

Lee stressed that the conclusion has nothing to do with whether he sympathizes with Taiwan's "pan-green camp" of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and its pro-independence allies or the opposition "pan-blue alliance" of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party.

If local individuals or groups have different views about the March 19 shooting, Lee said, they can convey their views to the 319 Truth Commission.

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