Thu, Aug 08, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Keelung man acquitted of covering traffic cameras

By Wu Sheng-ju and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A taxi driver surnamed Chueh places sticky note paper on the lens of a traffic camera in Keelung’s Cidu District in November last year.

Photo: Wu Sheng-ju, Taipei Times, from a surveillance camera image

The Taiwan High Court on Monday overturned a district court’s ruling that found a Keelung taxi driver, surnamed Chueh (闕), guilty of vandalizing public property for covering traffic cameras with Post-it Notes.

After being fined for speeding on Mingde 3rd Road in Cidu District (七堵), Cheuh went back and covered the lenses of five traffic cameras with sticky notes, an investigation showed.

Police were able to identify Chueh through video footage, and the driver confessed when questioned by police, said the Keelung District Prosecutors’ Office, which charged him with vandalism.

The Keelung District Court found him guilty and ordered him to serve two months in prison or pay a fine of NT$60,000.

Chueh appealed the ruling.

The High Court found Chueh not guilty, saying that his actions did not meet the Criminal Code’s definition of property damage.

Article 354 of the code defines property damage as “abandoning, destroying, damaging or rendering useless an object that belongs to another,” but none of the cameras were damaged because of the notes, the High Court said.

Since the prosecution did not present evidence or a legal argument that could substantiate additional charges, Chueh was free to go, the court said.

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