Fri, Aug 02, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Civilian probe into death coming to an end: sources

Staff writer, with CNA

The civilian part of a high-profile investigation into the death of an army corporal is coming to an end with no early indications that foul play was involved, sources said.

The probe may be concluded by the end of this week, the sources said, after the military indicted 18 officers over the death of army corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘), who died on July 4, just two days before his scheduled discharge.

The defendants, including a one-star brigade commander, were charged with offenses against personal freedom and collective abuse of a subordinate.

The Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office was assigned to investigate whether video evidence was destroyed, as tampering with evidence in a criminal case is not an offense covered by military law.

Prosecutors began the probe at the request of the soldier’s family, with the hope of finding out why a surveillance camera installed in a barracks where he was held had stopped recording for about 102 minutes on July 1 and whether the recording would have been incriminating.

Questioning of some of the accused and witnesses, and an examination of the camera and recorder indicated the surveillance equipment had not been tampered with, sources said.

The intermittent recording may have been caused by wear and tear of the signal cable, which had been exposed to the elements, and there had been similar instances before Hung was put in detention on June 28, the sources said.

The Bureau of Investigation’s examination of the recorder’s disc drive revealed no signs of overwriting of any previously recorded images, the sources said.

The incident has dominated the local news over the past weeks and it resulted in the resignation of the minister of national defense on Monday.

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