A 35-year-old prisoner who “acted like a gangster boss” has been charged with the death of another prisoner in April last year.
The Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office asked the judges to mete out a heavy sentence for the man, surnamed Liu (劉), adding that his “gangster boss” behavior and “highly repugnant attitude” brought fear to the ward.
Liu had been serving a 12-year jail term in Taipei Prison in Taoyuan County’s Gueishan Township (龜山) for sexual assault and illegal drug possession, while his 48-year-old victim, surnamed Lee (李), was in prison on offenses of misappropriation.
After being discharged from the hospital ward for cardiovascular disease treatment, Lee found that Liu had been transferred into his ward.
In the days that followed, Liu reportedly began a campaign of physical abuse against Lee, taking advantage of the single ward supervisor who was required to patrol a large area, the prosecutors said.
According to the indictment, Liu kicked and punched Lee on the head and on the body, throwing utensils, urine and feces at him, even while the victim was sleeping.
It was a living hell for Lee, and his fear of Liu prevented him from reporting the attacks to the ward supervisor, the indictment said.
The prosecutors added that two other inmates also kept quiet out of fear of Liu.
After 11 days of violent assault, Lee allegedly sustained a brain hemorrhage on April 14 and was rushed to the emergency ward, but was pronounced dead two days later, the indictment said.
Lee’s family accused jail authorities of negligence, saying that in the 22 days Lee spent in jail, they did not even have a chance to visit him.
Taipei Prison’s deputy warden Lee Jung-sheng (李永生) said the five small wards have now been combined into two large rooms so that monitoring and supervision of the prisoners can be improved.
“We have also produced educational CDs to help inmates raise the alarm sooner if they are suffering abuse, and more staff are being added to try to prevent such a tragedy from reoccurring,” he said.