Thu, May 26, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Former minister’s apology thwarted

By Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporter

Former minister of national defense Chen Chao-min (陳肇敏) yesterday sought to apologize in person to Wang Tsai-lien (王彩蓮), the mother of Chiang Kuo--ching (江國慶), an airman who was wrongfully executed in 1997 in connection with the murder of a five-year-old girl.

When no one answered the door, Chen told reporters outside Wang’s residence: “I visited Mrs Chiang [Wang] with sincerity as I wanted to express my respects and apologize to her.”

“I will find time to visit her again,” said Chen, who was chief of the air force during the investigation that led to Chiang’s wrongful conviction.

“I initiated the investigation against Chiang as chief, so I should shoulder the responsibility,” he said.

However, he denied he was aware at the time that torture had been used against Chiang to extract a confession, though he admitted that there were “administrative lapses” during the investigation.

It was Chen who requested that a military counterintelligence unit take over the case.

Wang on Tuesday said she could not accept the results of a second investigation, which indicted Hsu Jung-chou (許榮洲), a colleague of her son, for the murder, while exonerating Chen and other officials who were allegedly involved in Chiang’s interrogation.

Taipei District Court Judge Lin Keng-tung (林庚棟) said Hsu, who was ordered detained yesterday, denied killing the girl, surnamed Hsieh (謝), adding that a bloody palm print found at the scene of the crime was the result of him falling down and injuring himself.

The judge said Hsu had admitted twice to investigators that he had committed the crime — once when he was arrested over an unrelated rape case and again when he was arrested in January.

The judge said DNA tests on the bloody palm prints had determined they were Hsu’s and that it was therefore likely Hsu had committed the crime.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY VINCENT Y. CHAO

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