Thu, Dec 17, 2015 - Page 5 News List

Aborigine’s jail sentence to be appealed

’COME AND GET ME’:A man was given a jail sentence for shooting animals so his mother could eat meat that was ‘not as fatty’ as the produce in the ‘plains peoples’ market’

Staff writer, with CNA

Wang Kuang-lu, right, helps his mother keep her pipe alight in Taitung County on Tuesday.

Photo: CNA

The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office on Tuesday said that Prosecutor-General Yen Da-ho (顏大和) would file an extraordinary appeal against a jail sentence given to a Bunun Aborigine for hunting protected animals to feed his sick mother.

The news so delighted Wang Kuang-lu (王光祿) — who was supposed to begin a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence the same day — that he hugged his 92-year-old mother without telling her why, and thanked “all those who have helped me through the legal entanglements.”

Wang, 56, said he used a gun he found in the mountains to kill a goat and a Formosan Reeves’ muntjac two years ago because his sick mother wanted to eat lean meat that is “not as fatty” as the produce sold in the “plains peoples ‘market.”

He was charged with breaches of the Controlling Guns, Knives and Ammunition Act (槍砲彈藥刀械管制條例) and the Wildlife Conservation Act (野生動物保育法), for which he was given sentences of three years and two months, and seven months respectively.

The verdicts sparked protests from Wang and the Bunun community, who said the law was too harsh on Taiwan’s “real native” Aborigines for whom hunting wild animals is part of their traditional way of life.

Many civic groups voiced support for Wang and called on the Ministry of Justice to appeal the sentence on the grounds that Wang was showing filial piety toward his elders by providing wild meat for his mother.

With the support of the Bunun community, Wang decided not to report to jail to begin his sentence, although he had told his mother he would be away for a period of time.

“All of my community told me I am not guilty and that there is no need for me to be locked up for hunting wild animals,” he told reporters in Taitung. “So I will not voluntarily put myself behind bars. Rather, I would prefer to spend my time keeping my mother company.”

“If they want to lock me up, they can come and get me,” Wang added.

It was at this juncture that the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office announced its plan to appeal his sentence.

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