Fri, Jun 23, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Prosecutors quiz Lee Tai-an again

SEARCH FOR EVIDENCEThe lawyer for the Pingtung train derailment suspect was surprised by a decision yesterday to take hair and saliva samples from his client

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Kaohsiung prosecutors' interrogation of Lee Tai-an (李泰安), the elder brother of deceased train derailment suspect Lee Shuang-chuan (李雙全), took a new turn yesterday when prosecutors collected samples of Lee's saliva and hair.

Lawyer Wu Han-cheng (吳漢成), Lee Tai-an's defense counsel, said that he had not accompied his client during yesterday's interrogation and that prosecutors had not notified him of yesterday's activities.

"I realized that Lee Tai-an had been interrogated again when I saw the TV news. [The Kaohsiung prosecutor] told me nothing about the interrogation," Wu said.

"I did not know that they would collect samples of Lee Tai-an's saliva and hair, either," Wu said.

He said that the samples would be of no benefit in the investigation of the case.

He went on to hypothesize that prosecutors may have been attempting to establish whether Lee Tai-an was a drug addict.

"[Prosecutors] did not tell me that they would do this [collecting Lee Tai-an's saliva and hair.] However, the law does not say that they can't do this," Wu said.

A number of Chinese-language newspapers such as the China Times and the United Daily News, among others, all reported that Lee Tai-an had confessed and admitted to parts of the crime to prosecutors on Wednesday. In addition, prosecutors were also alleged to have retrieved sufficient evidence to bring a case against Lee Tai-an.

Kaohsiung District Prosecutors' Office denied the allegations.

Meanwhile, the prosecutors' office would not explain why prosecutors decided to collect samples of Lee Tai-an's saliva and hair, in response to comments from Lee Tai-an's defense counsel that he believed that it had nothing to do with the case.

"I would say that the media's reporting on the latest development of the case may not be necessarily true. However, due to a gagging order, I will not tell you exactly what happened during the interrogations," said Chung Chung-hsiao (鍾忠孝), a Kaohsiung District Prosecutors' Office spokesman.

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