The mother of Chiang Kuo-ching (江國慶), who was wrongfully executed in 1997 after a murder conviction, said yesterday she hoped the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office would launch another investigation into the case.
Chiang, who was accused of raping and killing a girl surnamed Hsieh (謝) at Air Force Command Headquarters in Taipei and pleaded guilty after being tortured, was executed in 1997 at the age of 21, but was later found to be innocent.
The military court exonerated Chiang in a posthumous trial on Sept. 13 last year and the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office is now investigating a new suspect, Hsu Jung-chou (許榮洲), over the girl’s murder.
Hsu is facing a sentence of 18 years in prison if convicted, but the case is still on trial in the Taiwan High Court.
Chiang’s mother, Wang Tsai-lien (王彩蓮), sued former minister of national defense Chen Chao-min (陳肇敏) and other military officers for dereliction of duty over the wrongful execution.
However, after investigating the matter the prosecutors’ office said that although Chen and the other officers had resorted to torture to extract a confession from Chiang, the office could not intervene in a military trial.
The office added that Chen and the other officers had sought to close the case and win accolades for speedily resolving the much-publicized case, and did not have any intention of killing Chiang.
Commenting on Chen and the other officers’ alleged infractions of illegal detention and abuse of power leading to a death, the office also said that the term of litigating on the violations had already expired, and Chen and the other officers could not be charged in the matter.
Wang’s initial appeal to the High Court for a re-investigation into Chen’s dereliction of duty had been sent back to the prosecutors’ office for further review, but the office maintained its original decision not to investigate.
The results of the second appeal had come back last month, again with the decision not to investigate Chen.
Wang’s lawyer, Lin Fung-cheng (林豐正), said the prosecutors’ office had hurt the defendant twice with its refusal.
When the Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office handed the case back in July last year, “it had already stated that Chen and the other officers had committed murder. It is evident that the Taipei Prosecutors’ Office is directly disobeying the opinion of the High Prosecutors’ Office,” Lin said.
“We hope the High Prosecutors’ Office can help us with the case, because it holds the correct attitude toward those who violate the law and this attitude is the only consolation that Wang has,” Lin said.
However, Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office spokesperson Huang Mo-hsin (黃謀信) said the results of the investigation had already been clearly written in the letter of notice, adding that if the plaintiff is still unsatisfied she may seek another appeal.