Disguised Dean charged with forgery

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 - Page 5

Taipei prosecutors on Thursday indicted a British man on charges of fleeing Taiwan after he was convicted of killing a newspaper deliveryman in a hit-and-run accident.

Businessman Zain Dean was indicted on charges of document forgery and breach of the Immigration Act (出入國及移民法), according to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office.

Taipei prosecutors also indicted Dean’s Taiwanese girlfriend Tung Yu-chi (董玉琪) and his British friend Christopher David Churcher on the same two charges and an additional charge of harboring a fugitive, alleging that they had helped Dean flee Taiwan in August last year.

Dean was sentenced in July last year to four years in prison after being convicted of killing the 31-year-old deliveryman, surnamed Huang (黃), while driving under the influence of alcohol.

On Aug. 14 last year, Dean fled Taiwan, but the authorities remained unaware of his departure until January, when he failed to report to prosecutors to begin serving his sentence.

The Ministry of Justice said last month that it had reason to believe Dean was hiding in Switzerland.

Churcher and Tung were charged with helping Dean flee. The indictments accuse Churcher of lending Dean his passport and a Republic of China Alien Residence Certificate in return for NT$50,000 (US$1,683) he allegedly owed Dean.

The indictments state that Dean was in disguise when he left Taiwan, and that Tung helped him with the disguise and booked his flights in Churcher’s name.

Last month, Dean issued a statement insisting on his innocence and questioning the prosecutors’ handling of video evidence that might have shown the accident.

Dean said he would be willing to return to Taiwan to be retried on condition that international and Taiwanese human rights groups observe the trial and that video evidence of the accident is presented. Taipei prosecutors rejected the conditions.