Thu, Oct 18, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Legislators doubt military’s willingness to fight lawsuit over wrongful execution

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

Legislators said yesterday that they doubted the military was willing to proceed with a lawsuit seeking compensation from former minister of national defense Chen Chao-min (陳肇敏) and five others to be paid to the family of an airman wrongfully executed 15 years ago over a rape-murder case.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃), convener of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, invited Judicial Reform Foundation chief executive Lin Feng-cheng (林峰正) to join the committee meeting.

Lin said he had audited the first hearing of the civil suit filed by the Ministry of National Defense with the Taipei District Court on Sept. 24 and during the hearing, judges told attorneys from the military that their legal statements were too simple and not concrete enough, suggesting that they should include more content.

Attorneys acting for Chen Chao-min and the five others told judges that as Taipei prosecutors had twice decided not to indict them, they were therefore not bound to provide compensation.

Chen Ting-fei told Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu (高華柱) that 109 civic groups had organized an online petition insisting that Chen Chao-min and the others take responsibility for Chiang Kuo-ching’s (江國慶) wrongful execution, and that more than 120,000 people had signed it so far.

“Do you think the public do not care about this thing? What is the ministry’s attitude toward the matter?” Chen Ting-fei said.

Kao said the ministry would “definitely” work hard to win the case.

However, DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) said it was evident that the ministry had adopted a passive attitude toward the civil suit.

The two attorneys representing the ministry are both young recently qualified lawyers who are currently doing their compulsory service, she said, questioning whether they had the ability to handle a case of such complexity.

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