Thu, Aug 16, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Control Yuan report probes legalities of bridge murder trial

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

The Control Yuan yesterday demanded that the Ministry of Justice reopen a murder case as it said the man who was convicted in the case could be a victim of a miscarriage of justice.

Control Yuan members Ma Yi-kung (馬以工) and two colleagues concluded in an investigation report published yesterday that there had been a violation of due process in the trial 10 years ago.

In the case, Hung Shih-wei (洪世緯) was found guilty, along with his friend Wang Chi-cheng (王淇政), of being complicit in a crime in which a woman surnamed Chen was pushed from the Houfong Bridge (后豐大橋) in Greater Taichung, leading to her death on Dec. 7, 2002.

Hung was sentenced to 12 years and six months for being complicit to a murder and was jailed in August 2009.

The Control Yuan members alleged that judges at the Taichung Branch Court of the Taiwan High Court hastily brought the trial to an end and presumed that Hung was guilty because evidence highlighting his innocence was left out of consideration in the verdict.

They said that judges failed to thoroughly probe Wang’s testimony that Hung had driven to a gas station to inflate the tires of a car and therefore could not have been at the scene of the crime.

Hung never confessed to the homicide during his trial, the Control Yuan report added.

Weather information provided by Central Weather Bureau (CWB) contradicted a witness statement that had been accepted by the court as evidence of Hung’s guilt that “three people were seen chasing each other on the bridge,” the Control Yuan report said.

Prosecutors and judges were of the view that the witness was able to see clearly what was happening over the bridge because the moon light provided visibility, but according to the CWB, there was no moon at that time, the Control Yuan report said.

The Control Yuan members said they would refer the report to the Ministry of Justice in the hope prosecutors file an extraordinary appeal to reinvestigate the case.

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