Prosecutors appealed yesterday against a court decision to convict Taiwanese-Japanese actress Makiyo and her Japanese friend Takateru Tomoyori of the lesser charge of “inflicting bodily harm” instead of the more serious “inflicting serious bodily harm” charge after the pair’s recent assault on a taxi driver.
Based on Makiyo and Tomoyori’s actions in the assault, they should be dealt with in accordance with Article 278 of the Criminal Code, which stipulates the punishments for causing or attempting to cause serious physical injury to others, the Taipei District Prosecutors Office said in a statement.
The article states that an individual who causes serious physical injury to another should be sentenced to a jail term of between five and 12 years and that attempted serious physical injury is also a punishable offense.
The Taipei District Court sentenced Makiyo to 10 months in prison last month, while Tomoyori was given a one-year sentence. However, both sentences were suspended because the defendants pleaded guilty to assaulting the driver and reached an out-of-court settlement with him.
Makiyo and Tomoyori were charged with assault after they were caught on video beating up the taxi driver, surnamed Lin (林), on the night of Feb. 2. The incident was triggered by Lin’s refusal to comply with Makiyo’s demand to drive faster, according to the court’s verdict.
Lin suffered two fractured ribs and serious head injuries that left him with a concussion and a brain hemorrhage.
Lin later accepted a NT$3 million (US$102,180) out-of-court settlement with the pair.
The court said in a statement after the ruling that the evidence presented did not prove that Makiyo and Tomoyori intended to cause serious physical harm, since the attack lasted for less than a minute. Lin’s injuries were not untreatable and did not fit the definition of “serious bodily harm,” it added.
Meanwhile, local actresses A-tzu (ㄚ子) and Hsiang Ying (湘瑩), who were also at the scene when the assault took place, were given suspended sentences, and fined NT$120,000 and NT$80,000, respectively, for alleged perjury when they were first interrogated by investigators, the Prosecutors’ Office said.
The office also decided not to indict a police detective, Yeh Hung-sheng (葉鴻昇), who failed to turn over a crucial video taken from a car’s dashboard camera that filmed the assault, saying that there was no evidence to suggest that Yeh was trying to destroy the video.
Another detective, Yang Kuo-chang (楊國昌), was given a suspended sentence and fined NT$30,000 for leaking another piece of video evidence to a TV news reporter instead of handing it over to prosecutors, the office added.