A military court yesterday acquitted Chiang Kuo-ching (江國慶), who was executed for the rape and murder of a girl 15 years ago, in a posthumous trial.
Chiang was executed in 1997 after being convicted of sexually abusing and murdering a five-year-old girl.
The Military Northern District Court yesterday morning handed down the ruling after the Military Supreme Court Prosecutors’ Office filed an extraordinary appeal with the Military Supreme Court in May last year to reopen the case.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
The Military Supreme Prosecutors’ Office’s legal action followed findings by the Control Yuan that Chiang had been tortured by military investigators.
The Ministry of National Defense yesterday said it was the final verdict and it would help Chiang’s family apply for national compensation.
The ministry said the court ruled that Chiang’s statements were made against his will and that the blood-soaked toilet paper and knife used as evidence against Chiang were re-examined by forensic experts, who concluded that they could not prove Chiang’s involvement in the murder.
Shen Shih-wei (沈世偉), an official with the ministry’s Judicial Department, visited Chiang’s mother Wang Tsai-lien (王彩蓮) at her apartment yesterday afternoon and delivered a copy of the ruling.
Wang’s attorney Greg Yo (尤伯祥) and two other attorneys were in the court to hear the ruling.
Yo said Chiang’s family is expected to receive about NT$100 million (US$3.3 million) in compensation.
Yo, who also represented the Judicial Reform Foundation, called on Taipei district prosecutors to quickly complete an investigation into the role and responsibility of former minister of national defense Chen Chao-min (陳肇敏) and other military officers in the wrongful execution.
Yo said Chen was the mastermind behind the botched investigation of Chiang’s case.
In an interview in the morning, Wang said: “I will bring the acquittal ruling to my son and my husband’s shrines.”
She added she would not forgive those military officials responsible and wanted to see the verdicts against former air force counterintelligence official Ko Chung-ching (柯仲慶) and others.
The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division concluded on May 24 that Chiang, who was serving in the air force command in 1996 at the time of the murder, was not guilty of the crime.
Chiang was executed at the age of 21.
The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office has since charged a new suspect, Hsu Jung-chou (許榮洲), with the girl’s murder.
Prosecutors said Chiang was tortured during questioning, including exposure to strong lights and being forced to watch a video of the girl’s autopsy. He was also threatened with an electric prod and deprived of sleep while being forced to undergo strenuous physical activities.
Prosecutors said Hsu left bloody palm prints at the scene of the crime, which a DNA test confirmed were his.
Hsu’s case is pending in the Taipei District Court.
The navy’s new 10,600-tonne warship is on Tuesday to be christened the ROCN Yushan (玉山), as the nation’s indigenous shipbuilding program reaches a milestone, sources said yesterday. The vessel, previously referred to as the “new landing platform dock,” was at a shipyard with its name freshly painted on the hull with the number 1401, the Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times) reported yesterday, citing an unnamed observer. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), a member of the legislature’s National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, confirmed the report in a Facebook post. The NT$4.635 billion (US$163 million) ship is designed
DIALOGUE SOUGHT: Washington said it was concerned about the pattern of ongoing attempts to intimidate Taiwan after the 10th day of PLA activity in the region The US on Monday urged Beijing to stop its multifaceted pressure campaign against Taiwan after China sent 25 military jets into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. “The United States notes with concern the pattern of ongoing PRC [People’s Republic of China] attempts to intimidate the region, including Taiwan,” a US Department of State spokesperson said in an e-mail response to questions. “We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan, and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan.” The Ministry of National Defense said that 25 Chinese military aircraft entered the zone on Monday. It was the 10th straight
‘NOT ENTHUSIASTIC’: People who have been approved by the CECC as special cases who need to travel, such as foreign diplomats, would be able to receive a vaccine The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday expanded the eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination to the fourth priority group — people who need to travel abroad for special reasons — adding that out-of-pocket vaccines would be available from Wednesday next week. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said although Taiwan’s COVID-19 vaccination program was on Monday expanded to include the top three groups in the priority list, people are still “not enthusiastic” about getting vaccinated. “Only 1,220 people received a vaccine shot on Tuesday, and a total of 27,113 people have received COVID-19 vaccination” so far, he
INTERNATIONAL WEED DAY: Advocates are to hold a demonstration to push for the decriminalization of marijuana and allowing its use for treatment of certain conditions It is time for Taiwanese society to examine the medical benefits of cannabis, in line with the international trend to lift restrictions on and decriminalize the use of marijuana, two legislators said yesterday, ahead of tomorrow’s “Rally for Equal Rights for Cannabis” in Taipei. Taiwan is one of a few countries holding a “420 International Weed Day” event — which usually takes place around the April 20 weekend — as most nations have canceled it this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, said organizer Green Sensation, which is composed of doctors, lawyers and entertainers, among others. The group released a