An Army first lieutenant has been ordered to pay a soldier’s family NT$2.7 million (US$93,000) in compensation because his harsh punishment of the soldier led to his suicide, the Taoyuan District Court said in a ruling yesterday.
The district court said that on April 19, 2010, First Lieutenant Kuo Ching-chih (郭景志), who served in an army missile unit in Taoyuan County, was upset that Su Yung-sheng (蘇詠聖) had not saluted him.
Kuo humiliated Su before his fellow soldiers and said: “I will see you give me a salute ... I will punish you until you die.”
Kuo asked Su to hold 11 wooden rifles all day long without eating or going to the toilet.
Kuo later asked Su to clean toilets with a T65 rifle on his back.
The court said that although Su pleaded for mercy, cried and showed injuries he had sustained to his hands, Kuo continued his punishment.
Su could not bear it and jumped from a building at the base and died, the district court said.
The court added that Kuo could appeal the ruling with the Taiwan High Court.
The High Military Court found Kuo of guilty of harming a soldier with inhuman methods and causing the individual’s death and sentenced him to seven years and two months in prison.
Several military officials were also subjected to severe disciplinary action in the case.
Su’s family also filed a lawsuit with the Taoyuan District Court asking the Army Command Headquarters to provide NT$6 million in compensation. The case is still pending in the district court.
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