Mon, Mar 29, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Expat bailed after fatal hit and run

TAIPEI ACCIDENT Zain Dean was freed on bail and barred from leaving the country after being questioned over his alleged involvement in a motorcyclist’s death

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A British businessman, Zain Dean, was released on bail and prohibited from leaving the country by Taipei prosecutors following his alleged involvement in a hit-and-run in Taipei City.

Taipei police said Dean, 39, chief executive officer of NCL Media UK’s Taiwan Branch, has lived in Taiwan for 16 years.

Prosecutors released Dean on NT$150,000 bail on Saturday evening.

As Dean was leaving the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, relatives of Huang Chun-te (黃俊德), the man killed in the accident, attempted to attack him.

Prosecutors said that during questioning, Dean denied involvement in the accident, saying he was drinking with friends at a hostess pub until the early hours of the morning on Thursday, but because he was drunk, a pub worker drove him home and he had no recollection of any car accident.

Prosecutors said the pub worker denied that he drove Dean home in his car. They said CCTV footage from outside the club showed the pub worker getting into the driver's seat. He returned to the club on foot six minutes later, they added.

Dean booked a flight to Kinmen after the accident, prosecutors said.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, scooter rider Huang, 32, was hit from behind and died at the scene. Video footage from a nearby security camera showed a black Mercedes hit him from behind before fleeing the area.

Chen Wen-chih (陳文智), deputy chief of Taipei City Police Department’s Da-an Precinct, said that information from Yang Sheng-hung (楊盛宏), a retired sergeant from the Taipei City Police Department, led police to the vehicle.

Yang yesterday told reporters that he had taken his car to a local automobile repair shop in Taipei on Friday morning where he saw the Mercedes.

Yang said his years of experience as a policeman led him to believe that the badly damaged vehicle in the shop must have been involved in a crash.

Only when he was watching the news on TV later in the day, did he discover that the police were looking for a black Mercedes alleged to have been involved in a hit and run, he said.

Yang went back to the shop, but found the car had gone and was told that its owner had sold the vehicle to a second-hand car shop.

Yang immediately called the police.

[Editor's Note: This report has been edited to correct factual inaccuracies.]

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