A judicial reform association yesterday asked why the Ministry of National Defense had adopted a passive attitude in a civil suit it filed with the Taipei District Court against former minister of national defense Chen Chao-min (陳肇敏) and five others implicated in the wrongful execution of airman Chiang Kuo-ching (江國慶) 15 years ago.
The ministry requested the Northern Military District Court represent it to file the lawsuit, seeking NT$14.75 million (US$500,000) in compensation from each of the six.
The Judicial Reform Foundation said it doubted the military really wanted Chen and the five former officials to compensate the Chiang family, adding that if it did not proceed with the lawsuit, taxpayers would be left to pay the compensation.
The Taipei District Court yesterday held a hearing for the compensation case.
Judicial Reform Foundation executive director Lin Feng-cheng (林峰正) said outside the courthouse that the military had been passive and “played games” with the lawsuit.
During the hearing, judges told representatives from the military that their legal statements were too simple and not concrete enough, suggesting they include more content.
Lin said the association was trying to determine whether taxpayers could also file a civil lawsuit against Chen and the others.
Chen was chief of the air force Combat Command at the time of the conviction. The legal action was taken after the six refused to reimburse the court for compensation awarded to the victim’s family.
In October last year, the Northern Military District Court awarded NT$103 million in compensation to Chiang’s mother, Wang Tsai-lien (王彩蓮).
According to a decision by a compensation review committee formed by the military court, the six officials committed major mistakes in the case.
Chiang was convicted of raping and killing a five-year-old girl at Air Force Combat Command in Taipei in 1996 and was executed a year later at the age of 21.
However, in September last year, his conviction and execution were determined to have rested on a coerced confession, with at least six officials found to have tortured him.