A former graduate student of National Tsinghua University who murdered her love rival and mutilated her body in 1998 was released on parole yesterday after serving more than two-thirds, or nearly 11 years, of her sentence for the crime.
Meeting the press at the gate of the prison, Hung Hsiao-hui (洪曉慧) yesterday apologized to the public for what she did.
“I will do my best to do what I am supposed to do. Thank you for giving me a chance to live again,” she said. “I will try my best to make it up to those I have hurt in the past.”
Hung regained her freedom after the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) granted her parole on Nov. 11. The ministry cited a number of factors in its decision, including the fact that Hung had served more than two-thirds of her sentence of 16 years and three months with good behavior and had been awarded merits on nine occasions for good behavior as an inmate.
Hung will be on parole for the remaining five years of her sentence, during which she will be required by law to report to probation officers once a month.
The Kaohsiung Women’s Prison had applied for parole on Hung’s behalf four times, but was rejected three times by a Kaohsiung prison parole review board and once by the ministry.
Hung was found guilty of killing and mutilating her classmate Hsu Chia-chen (�?u) in an auditorium at National Tsinghua University in March 1998 after she found out that Hsu was having a relationship with her boyfriend, Tseng Huan-tai (曾煥泰).
Hung and Hsu were both second-year graduate students at the university’s radiobiology institute at the time.
During an argument, Hung knocked Hsu unconscious and poured aqua regia — a potent corrosive chemical — over Hsu’s nose and mouth, killing her. Hung then dragged the body to the rear of the auditorium in the hope that it would remain undetected. After the murder, both Hung and Tseng, who was also a graduate student, dropped out of school.
Hung was eventually sentenced to 18 years in a jail, which was reduced last year to 16 years and three months, and ordered by the court to pay Hsu’s parents NT$24 million (US$718,600) in compensation.