Tue, Aug 29, 2006 - Page 3 News List

KMT sues police agency chief over 319 shooting

CNA WITH STAFF WRITER , TAIPEI

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus filed a lawsuit against National Police Agency Director-General Hou You-yi (侯友宜) and three Tainan prosecutors yesterday, charging them with dereliction of duty and destroying evidence in connection with the March 19, 2004, shooting of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮).

Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆), caucus secretary-general, said the charges were based on a report of the 319 Shooting Truth Investigation Special Committee -- a partisan committee that was ruled unconstitutional by the Council of Grand Justices.

The case was closed by authorities after they identified the shooter as Chen Yi-hsiung (陳義雄), a lone, mentally disturbed, unemployed man who blamed his financial problems on the president.

Chen Yi-hsiung was found dead 10 days after the incident in Tainan, the city where the incident took place. After initially supporting the government's conclusion that Chen Yi-hsiung was the shooter, members of his family later raised questions concerning his death, and in a press conference organized by the KMT, accused police investigators of forcing them to give false testimonies.

Lawyer Sun Yu-hui (孫煜輝), acting on behalf of the KMT caucus, quoted a report by the illegal committee that was published on Aug. 22, as raising what he described as four major points of suspicion concerning the police probe and prosecution of the case:

First, that the National Security Bureau on March 18, 2004, had information that an attempt to assassinate the president might be in the offing, information that the report said security officers like Hou knew and yet failed to pursue.

Second, the homemade bullets found in the Jeep in which the president and the vice president were shot and those found at Chi Mei Hospital where the two were treated were of slightly different calibers, and therefore the report said they could not be determined to have been fired from the same pistol.

Third, the pants and underwear the president wore on that day did not have any gunshot holes or bloodstains, and the report said Hou and the investigators he led ignored and hid this critical piece of evidence.

Fourth, the report said that Hou and his investigative team used the bullets to trace the gun and used the gun to trace its owner, instead of attempting to find evidence to prove that the shooting could have been staged.

Sun quoted the report as saying that many questions remain over Chen Yi-hsiung's death, further indicating that Hou and his team did not try to seek the truth behind the shooting.

Also being sued are Tainan District Prosecutors' Office Chief Prosecutor Liu Wei-tzung (劉惟宗), as well as prosecutors Wang Sen-jung (王森榮) and Kuo Chen-ni (郭珍妮), who was spokeswoman for the special investigative team.

Sun said the four officials are accused of committing the offenses of malfeasance and destroying evidence.

Under the criminal code, they could be sentenced heavily if found guilty, Sun added.

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