The Taiwan High Court yesterday ordered convicted Taipei MRT killer Cheng Chieh (鄭捷) to pay NT$61.39 million (US$1.83 million) in compensation to his victims and the relatives of the people killed in the 2014 attack incident.
If Cheng does not raise an objection to the decision by Taiwan High Court’s Collegiate Bench, then the verdict is final and cannot be appealed, a court statement said.
In addition, a lower court ruling last year ordered him to pay NT$30.91 million in compensation, along with the NT$8.55 million in restitution payments to the families of the four people killed in 2014.
Cheng, then a 21-year-old university student, carried out a knife attack on passengers on Taipei’s MRT system on May 21, 2014, on the Bannan Line between Longshan Temple Station and Jiangzicui Station.
He killed Hsieh Ching-yun (解青雲), Chang Cheng-han (張正翰), Lee Tsui-yun (李翠雲) and Pan Pi-chu (潘碧珠), and injured 22 others.
A number of injured survivors, as well as families and relatives of the four killed, filed a class-action lawsuit against Cheng at the Taiwan High Court, which began hearings on Dec. 16 last year.
The class-action lawsuit was filed in parallel to the criminal proceedings on Cheng’s judicial case, with plaintiffs seeking compensation for the loss of family members, medical treatments, pain and suffering.
During the hearings Cheng said he had no objections and agreed with the amount of compensation demanded by the plaintiffs.
In yesterday’s ruling, the high court ordered Cheng to pay compensation of NT$10 million to the mother of Hsieh, NT$20 million to father of Chang, NT$16 million to Lee Jui-chang (李瑞昌), brother of Lee Tsui-yun, NT$1.8 million to an injured female surnamed Shih (史), NT$2 million to an injured female surnamed Chen (陳), NT$7.29 million to the wife of Hsieh Ching-yun and NT$2.11 million and NT$2.17 million to Hsieh and his wife’s two siblings.
However, there is little chance of plaintiffs receiving any of the compensation, as Cheng’s parents have severed family ties, including moving to an unspecified location and transferring family assets elsewhere, so that Cheng has little money or assets registered under his name.
Lee Jui-chang, who was awarded NT16 million for the death of his sister, yesterday said: “We know that it is impossible to get any money from Cheng. This civil court lawsuit was our way to receive justice. It is for us to close this matter by getting a judicial decision.”
“We sought financial compensation because we want to let Cheng know that he must pay a price for his actions,” he said.
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