Sun, Feb 02, 2014 - Page 2 News List

Detaining truck driver violates his rights: attorney

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Detaining truck driver Chang Te-cheng (張德正), who allegedly rammed his truck into the Presidential Office Building, while he is physically ill violates his human rights, Chang’s lawyer said yesterday.

Attorney Yu Po-hsiang (尤伯祥) made the remark before Chang was to appear at the Taipei District Court at 3:30pm for a fourth hearing on prosecutors’ bid to have him detained.

The hearing was ongoing at press time last night.

The hearing was scheduled after the Taiwan High Court at 3am yesterday revoked the district court’s decision not to detain Chang on the grounds of his “poor state of health.”

Chang was released on NT$150,000 bail on Friday night.

“Judging from Chang’s physical condition, there is little chance of him recidivating. If he is to be placed under detention, the inadequacy of medical resources at the detention center would most likely put him in a life-threatening situation,” Yu said in response to reporters’ inquiries.

Repeatedly summoning Chang to court or detaining him regardless of his health condition constituted a cruel, inhumane act, which was prohibited by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Yu said.

The Taiwan High Court came to the conclusion that Chang could commit the same kind of assault after reading some documents and without assessing his physical condition in person, Yu said.

“That highlights a flaw in the nation’s pre-trial detention system,” he added.

Chang, an air force veteran, is accused of attempted murder and obstructing the performance of public duties among other charges stemming from a pre-dawn incident on Jan. 25.

The 41-year-old was discharged from National Taiwan University Hospital after being treated for several fractures and a collapsed lung sustained when he allegedly rammed a 35-tonne truck into the front entrance of the Presidential Office Building.

He was immediately taken to the Taipei Prosecutors’ Office for questioning after leaving the hospital.

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