Sun, Mar 05, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Probe into airport scuffle concludes; four charged

By Cheng Shu-ting and Tseng Wei-chen  /  Staff reporters

Chang Wei holds a subpoena delivered to him by airport police at Taoyuan International Airport on Chang’s return to Taiwan on Jan. 15.

Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times

Prosecutors on Friday concluded an investigation into a violent incident that took place at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in January following the arrival of Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) and other Hong Kong democracy advocates, charging Chang Wei (張瑋) and three other fellow members of the China Unification Promotion Party (CUPP) with obstructing police officers in the discharge of their duties.

The indictments, issued by the Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office, carry a maximum jail term of three years or a maximum fine of NT$300.

Prosecutors said Chang, 40, was the leader of the group which confronted and allegedly tried to assault Wong and the other Hong Kong visitors as they walked through the exit area of the airport on Jan. 7.

Chang is the son of CUPP chairman Chang An-le (張安樂), the former leader of the Bamboo Union gang who is also known as the “White Wolf.”

The three other suspects are Yu Hsueh-cheng (余學誠), 37, Kuo Chi-yuan (郭啟源), 43, and Kao Chien-hung (高健閎), 28. All four held executive positions in the party’s upper echelons and its local chapters.

The New Power Party invited Wong and Hong Kong Legislative Council members Edward Yiu (姚松炎), Eddie Chu (朱凱迪) and Nathan Law (羅冠聰) to speak at a forum in Taiwan.

Aviation Police Bureau officers formed a cordon with roped barriers to prevent protesters from impeding the visitors at the airport’s Terminal 1.

Carrying placards and shouting slogans demanding that Wong and his associates not be allowed to enter Taiwan, the four suspects rushed the barriers and shoved their way into a restricted zone in a bid to assault the Hong Kongers, prosecutors said.

The suspects scuffled with police, and during the altercation, two officers sustained bruises and injuries to their hands, jaws, and other parts of their bodies, prosecutors said.

During questioning, Chang Wei said he joined the fray only after Yu entered the restricted zone, and that he was only trying to protest the arrival of Wong and his associates when the scuffle with police occurred, prosecutors said.

“We had no intention of obstructing police officers, it was only to express our political beliefs. Wong and his associates coming to Taiwan will bring chaos, and will add to China’s hostility against Taiwan. I did not have other options at the time, so I expressed my views a bit more strongly,” prosecutors quoted him as saying in his defense.

However, after questioning more than 10 Aviation Police Bureau officials and reviewing video footage, prosecutors said they concluded that the four had obstructed police officers and caused their injuries.

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