National Taiwan University student Hung Chung-yen (洪崇晏) and Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan convener Tsay Ting-kuei (蔡丁貴) were yesterday found not guilty on charges linked to their involvement in anti-nuclear protests in Taipei in April last year.
Prosecutors had charged Hung and Tsay with violating the Parade and Assembly Act (集會遊行法) for allegedly urging participants in the April 27 anti-nuclear protest to deviate from the route that organizers had laid out in their application for a demonstration permit and ignoring orders from Zhongxiao E Road police office chief Tsui Chi-ying (崔企英) to disband the crowd.
Some of the protesters removed the center road blocks along a section of Zhongxiao W Road in front of Taipei Railway Station and occupied both sides of the road, paralyzing traffic in the area.
Tsay has consistently claimed that he did nothing illegal.
He also argued that jurisdiction for ordering the protest to disband belonged to the precinct and deputy precinct chiefs, but Zhongzheng First Precinct chief Fang Yang-ning (方仰凝) had not given the orders in person and Tsui was neither the precinct nor the deputy precinct chief.
Prosecutors argued that Tsui had been empowered by Fang and therefore had the authority to order the protest to break up.
The Taipei District Court ruling said that police were unable to prove that Tsay and Hung had been the leaders who encouraged the protesters to deviate from the approved path.
The court also found that the orders to disband the protest had not come from the precinct chief, which constituted an administrative violation on the part of the police department.
The court also ruled that police had not named Hung when officers were naming the organizers they believed responsible for diverting the protest, and it accepted Tsay’s claim that he had not been able to hear the police’s broadcast due to the noise of the crowd.
The court also ruled that the police had not legally delivering the order to disband.
Yesterday’s ruling can be appealed.
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