Taipei prosecutors yesterday indicted a graduate student for allegedly torturing cats and leaving them to die at different locations on the National Taiwan University (NTU) campus.
Lee Nien-lung (李念龍), a graduate student of marine engineering at NTU, allegedly tortured the two cats last year. Prosecutors charged Lee with violation of the Animal Protection Act (動物保護法).
The indictment stated that on Oct. 8 last year, Lee obtained a cat named “National Day” after contacting its owner over the Internet. He brought the cat to the NTU campus and tortured it, causing hemorrhaging and hydrocephalus, commonly known as water on the brain, the indictment said.
After Lee allegedly tortured the cat, he left it near the NTU library, where it was found by passersby who took it to a veterinarian. The cat could not be saved and was put to sleep.
In November last year, Lee telephoned another owner of a cat named “Copal” to say he wanted to adopt it, prosecutors said.
He tortured the cat, causing several broken bones and internal bleeding and then left it to die near his on-campus dormitory, prosecutors said. The cat was found by passersby but could not be revived.
Around 10 cats were found abandoned and with signs of torture near or on the NTU campus. As the number climbed, Internet users collected and passed around information from cat owners, eventually leading them to suspect Lee.
When questioned, Lee denied torturing the animals, saying that he had adopted dozens of cats but had set them free.
Prosecutors found Lee’s testimony to be filled with inconsistencies and yesterday indicted him.
If convicted, Lee could face up to one year in prison.