The Legislative Yuan yesterday decided to postpone its consideration of Control Yuan nominations made by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) owing to objections from opposition lawmakers. Chen's request for legislators to consent to the nominations was shelved during a meeting of the opposition-controlled Procedure Committee held to schedule the legislative agenda for next week. The pan-blue camp is dissatisfied with the nominations, especially that of Clement Chang (張建邦), who was nominated for Control Yuan president.
Death sentence times five
A man who admitted to killing six people, including five relatives, for NT$13.21 million (US$409,000) in insurance payments was sentenced to death for a record fifth time, a court official said yesterday. The Chiayi District Court on Monday meted out three death penalties to Chen Jui-chin (陳瑞欽), 54, for killing his three sons. Chen had previously received a life sentence and two other death sentences for murdering two wives and a third woman. An investigation found Chen had killed his first wife in 1985 while she was in hospital, picking up an insurance policy payout worth NT$2 million. Over the next several years, four insurance companies paid Chen a total of NT$11.21 million for the death of his son, Chen Chien-hung (陳建宏), in 1995 and two adopted sons murdered in 1988 and 1998. The investigation said Chen murdered his second wife in 1996 and murdered a third woman in May last year. The previous record number of death sentences awarded to an individual was three, meted out to a man after killing seven people.
Court backtracks on bomber
The Taiwan High Court late last night reversed a decision to release alleged gas bomber Kao Pao-chung (高寶中) on bail, saying the crime posed a potential threat to the nation. Although Kao, accused of having ignited a gas-filled minivan outside Taipei Railway Station two days before the legislative elections, was released by the Taipei District Court on bail of NT$100,000, Taipei City prosecutors appealed the decision last week. Taipei District Court will now rehear the case to decide whether to detain Kao. Kao will be subpoenaed to court again. Police say they've been monitoring Kao's whereabouts since he was released, and restrictions have been in place to prevent him from leaving the country.
Satellite photos get push
The National Science Program Office (NSPO) yesterday signed a contract with National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), which will become one of the main domestic promoters of image products taken by ROCSAT-2, the nation's second satellite, also nicknamed FORMOSAT-2. According to the office, high-resolution images taken by ROCSAT-2 can be used in diverse fields, including disaster prevention, geological survey, environmental monitoring, crops development, land utilities, scientific research and other educational applications. "From now on, users can obtain satellite images through the channel of domestic promoters, including NTNU and other universities," office director Lance Wu (吳作樂) said. The university plans to incorporate satellite images into teaching materials in order to promote students' environmental knowledge.