British fugitive Zain Dean, who fled Taiwan before he was to begin serving a jail term for manslaughter in a hit-and-run accident, should pay NT$7.55 million (US$254,630) in compensation to the family of his victim, a court ruled on Wednesday.
The Taipei District Court said that the victim, a newspaper deliveryman surnamed Huang (黃), was only 31 years old when he died in the accident in March 2010. Although Dean has no assets under his name in Taiwan, he served as head of the UK-based NCL Media’s Taiwan branch, and was reportedly driving a Mercedez-Benz when the accident took place, which the court said shows that he still had substantial financial means.
The judges said that because Dean was to blame for the accident, but denied responsibility and fled Taiwan by using his friend’s passport before his scheduled incarceration, a sum of NT$7.55 million was appropriate. Huang’s family had demanded nearly NT$10 million in compensation. The case can still be appealed.
Huang’s elder sister said that “the most important thing is to find Dean’s whereabouts and bring him back to face justice.”
The Taiwan High Court sentenced Dean to four years in jail after being convicted in July last year on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, manslaughter and committing a hit-and-run. The hit-and-run charge is being appealed.
Dean was supposed to begin his sentence last year, but fled the country on Aug. 14 last year. The authorities put Dean on the nation’s wanted list on Jan. 29.
Dean issued a statement last month in which he continued to assert his innocence, especially questioning the prosecutors’ handling of video evidence that might have shown the accident. Dean said that he would be willing to return to be retried on four conditions, including having the video evidence being presented in court and having human rights observers present at the new trial.
Taipei prosecutors flatly rejected the conditions.
The navy’s new 10,600-tonne warship is on Tuesday to be christened the ROCN Yushan (玉山), as the nation’s indigenous shipbuilding program reaches a milestone, sources said yesterday. The vessel, previously referred to as the “new landing platform dock,” was at a shipyard with its name freshly painted on the hull with the number 1401, the Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times) reported yesterday, citing an unnamed observer. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), a member of the legislature’s National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, confirmed the report in a Facebook post. The NT$4.635 billion (US$163 million) ship is designed
DIALOGUE SOUGHT: Washington said it was concerned about the pattern of ongoing attempts to intimidate Taiwan after the 10th day of PLA activity in the region The US on Monday urged Beijing to stop its multifaceted pressure campaign against Taiwan after China sent 25 military jets into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. “The United States notes with concern the pattern of ongoing PRC [People’s Republic of China] attempts to intimidate the region, including Taiwan,” a US Department of State spokesperson said in an e-mail response to questions. “We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan, and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan.” The Ministry of National Defense said that 25 Chinese military aircraft entered the zone on Monday. It was the 10th straight
INTERNATIONAL WEED DAY: Advocates are to hold a demonstration to push for the decriminalization of marijuana and allowing its use for treatment of certain conditions It is time for Taiwanese society to examine the medical benefits of cannabis, in line with the international trend to lift restrictions on and decriminalize the use of marijuana, two legislators said yesterday, ahead of tomorrow’s “Rally for Equal Rights for Cannabis” in Taipei. Taiwan is one of a few countries holding a “420 International Weed Day” event — which usually takes place around the April 20 weekend — as most nations have canceled it this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, said organizer Green Sensation, which is composed of doctors, lawyers and entertainers, among others. The group released a
‘NOT ENTHUSIASTIC’: People who have been approved by the CECC as special cases who need to travel, such as foreign diplomats, would be able to receive a vaccine The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday expanded the eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination to the fourth priority group — people who need to travel abroad for special reasons — adding that out-of-pocket vaccines would be available from Wednesday next week. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said although Taiwan’s COVID-19 vaccination program was on Monday expanded to include the top three groups in the priority list, people are still “not enthusiastic” about getting vaccinated. “Only 1,220 people received a vaccine shot on Tuesday, and a total of 27,113 people have received COVID-19 vaccination” so far, he