The military yesterday encouraged those who believe they were wrongly jailed in military prisons to file compensation requests before the July 12, 2009, deadline.
"We believe that there are more than 1,000 cases of wrongful incarceration, but up to now, only 69 victims have filed requests," said Kuo Hsiang-juei (郭祥瑞), director of the Ministry of National Defense's (MND) Trial Affairs Department.
Kuo made his remarks during a press conference at the MND yesterday morning. The "more than 1,000 cases" he mentioned refers to cases that took place after Sept. 1, 1959. Cases before the date have expired in the eyes of the law.
Kuo said that the Military Criminal Code (陸海空軍刑法) was a lot stricter than the regular Criminal Code (刑法). As a result, in the past, military personnel who committed crimes would usually be jailed first, even before a trial or verdict, although many of them were declared innocent and released.
"We would encourage people who fall into the `wrongly jailed' category to file compensation requests," Kuo said. "Upon evaluation and approval, each person will be compensated from NT$3,000 to NT$5,000 for each day they spent wrongly incarcerated."
So far only five of the 69 requests filed have been approved, with NT$1.28 million (US$40,000) in compensation being paid out.
"Obviously, there are still many victims out there," Kuo said.
In the meantime, Kuo encouraged the public to refer any inquiries about the compensation program to the hotline at (02) 2933-8804 during office hours.
"As long as the applicant can provide sufficient evidence that she or he was wrongly jailed by the military, we will do our best to help," Kuo said.