Sat, May 31, 2014 - Page 3 News List

MRT attack suspect sticking to story, prosecutors say

Staff writer, with CNA

A priest from Taipe’s Zhinan Temple, back, performs a purification ceremony at the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit depot in New Taipei City’s Tucheng District yesterday.

Photo: CNA

New Taipei City prosecutors yesterday questioned Cheng Chieh (鄭捷), the 21-year-old suspect in the nation’s first deadly subway knife attack, which occurred on Wednesday last week.

Prosecutors said they questioned Cheng about his interactions with his family and whether he has ever encountered setbacks during the course of his schooling, in an attempt to gain an understanding of his psychological condition.

During the session, Cheng reiterated that he had a motive for the killings since he was in elementary school and said that he did not want to see his parents at this time.

He did not respond to questions about problems with his family.

Prosecutors said Cheng’s answers differed little from his earlier statements about “plans for doing something big,” plans he said he had harbored since he was in elementary school. He said he particularly wanted to kill those he hated.

The detention center said that since Cheng was taken into custody on Thursday last week, his daily routine has been normal and his mood has not changed. He has made no specific requests to the center and his parents have not visited him.

Four people were killed and 24 injured in the incident on Taipei’s MRT.

As part of the investigation into the case, prosecutors have already questioned some of the injured and witnesses over the past few days, and do not rule out questioning Cheng’s parents to better understand his background.

Prosecutors on Thursday also consulted with National Taiwan University Hospital on whether Cheng should undergo a pyschological evaluation.

In related developments, MRT operator Taipei Rapid Transit Corp said it held a Taoist spiritual cleansing rite yesterday on the MRT cars where the stabbings took place.

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