The mother of an air force staff sergeant who died in 2008 began a hunger strike yesterday outside the Ministry of National Defense to back her call for the ministry to reveal the truth about her son’s death.
Military investigators decided that Tsai Hsueh-liang (蔡學良) had committed suicide by shooting himself with a T65 rifle during target practice, but his family says the fatal wounds were caused by a bullet from a pistol, not a rifle.
Yu Jui-ming (尤瑞敏) has accused the ministry of “murdering” her son and covering up the truth.
“Minister of National Defense Yen Ming (嚴明) promised me last year that if the Taipei District Court and the Taiwan High Court agree to conduct a ballistics test, the ministry will do it. However, he went back on his word,” Yu said.
When she asked the High Court to conduct a ballistics test, the ministry’s attorneys voiced opposition to the application during a hearing.
“I fell hopeless and helpless, and could only turn to this option — choosing Mother’s Day to launch a hunger strike outside the ministry. I will not eat until the ministry agrees to the ballistics test,” she said.
The ministry yesterday issued a statement saying the case about Tsai’s death is pending before the Taiwan High Court.
Yu should apply to the High Court is she wants a ballistics test conducted, the ministry said.
The High Court last year asked the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau and the Criminal Investigation Bureau to evaluate the appropriateness of a ballistics test in the case, but both bureaus concluded such a test could not be done, the defense ministry’s statement said.
The ministry said it respected Yu’s appeal and it would cooperate with the courts in the investigation into Tsai’s death.