Sat, Jan 23, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Lee Cheng-hsien
to serve 42 months over arson threat

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

A man who drove his campaign van into the Kaohsiung City Government building days before the 2014 local elections was given a 42-month prison term by the Supreme Court yesterday.

The verdict upheld earlier guilty decisions against Lee Cheng-hsien (李政憲), who ran unsuccessfully as an independent candidate for a city council seat in the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 29, 2014.

Yesterday’s ruling was final and cannot be appealed.

After driving a campaign van past police guards at the building’s front entrance on Nov. 24, 2014, Lee tipped two cans containing about 36 liters of diesel oil onto the atrium floor and brandished a lighter, threatening to start a blaze.

After a brief standoff, a police officer wrestled him to the ground from behind and knocked off the lighter from his hands.

According to a Supreme Court statement, Lee had major grievances against the city government after city workers demolished his campaign headquarters and an adjacent badminton court that was operated by his daughter.

His office and the badminton court were deemed to have contravened the city’s fire code with inadequate fire safety equipment.

Lee claims he was unfairly targeted by city inspectors.

During the Supreme Court trial, Lee said he did not intend to start a fire and his actions were merely to publicize his grievances.

He said it was play-acting on his part to hold the lighter to the fuel.

However, judges said Lee had caused fear and had not shown remorse over his actions.

They added that as a suicide note was found in the van in addition to preparing the fuel and lighter, Lee had planned destruction.

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