The Judicial Reform Foundation yesterday presented a petition of 12,506 signatures to the Taiwan High Court Prosecutors’ Office demanding that former minister of national defense Chen Chao-min (陳肇敏) and five others implicated in the wrongful execution of an airman 15 years ago be indicted.
The foundation and supporters urged the office to indict the six, who they said had been negligent in their duties.
They also demanded that the six reimburse the Northern Military District Court the NT$130 million (US$4.4 million) compensation awarded to the family of Chiang Kuo-ching (江國慶).
Chiang, an air force serviceman, was executed in 1997 for a rape and murder he did not commit.
Chang Tieh-chih (張鐵志), a political and cultural critic, left a note next to his signature that read: “How can you not care about the snuffing out of the life of an innocent man? How can you not care that a country should at least have justice?”
Tsai Dun-chun (蔡敦群), another of the supporters, said the starting point for seeking justice is to look into the responsibilities of those who neglected their duties.
The petitioners also included former Democratic Progressive Party chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).
The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office decided on Aug. 24 not to indict the six for their alleged involvement in detaining Chiang by illegal means and abusing their authority, causing Chiang to be prosecuted and resulting in his death, because the statute of limitations has run out.
Prosecutors also decided not to indict the six on homicide charges, saying that although the six used torture to obtain a confession from Chiang, they did not have the authority to interfere in the proceedings of the military court.
The office said the six defendants had the intent to crack the murder and rape case, but not the intent to kill Chiang, and that there was no causality relationship between their intent and the young man’s death.
Following the prosecutors’ decision, Wang Tsai-lien (王彩蓮), Chiang’s mother, applied on Sept. 6 for a reconsideration of the ruling.
Meanwhile, the military court filed a civil suit in April against the six, seeking NT$14.75 million in compensation from each of them. That case is currently being heard at the Taipei District Court.