Police probed for negligence after suspect’s suicide

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

Mon, May 06, 2013 - Page 3

A judicial investigation was launched yesterday to determine if police failed to properly search a young woman suspected of being a drug dealer after she committed suicide in the detention room of the Shilin District (士林) Prosecutors’ Office’s in Taipei on Saturday.

The 23-year-old woman, surnamed Ding (丁), killed herself with a 15cm knife she had hidden in her belt as she waited in the detention room for her hearing at the Shilin District Court.

According to police, Ding rented an apartment in the city that she used to host parties and sell drugs.

At 7pm on Friday, police officers raided Ding’s apartment, arrested six men and four women, and seized ketamine and MDMA (ecstasy) that they found on a table, the authorities said.

Police said that when they brought Ding in to Datong District (大同) Police headquarters, she tried to kill herself by ingesting a drink containing ketamine, adding that she was then sent to Taipei City Hospital’s Zhongxing Branch, where her stomach was pumped.

Police said Ding was brought back into custody on Saturday at 2am and taken to the Shilin District Prosecutors’ Office for further questioning at 5:30pm.

Prosecutors questioned Ding at 7pm and afterward applied to the Shilin District Court to detain her.

The prosecutors’ office said that while Ding was waiting for the court’s decision, she asked to go to the toilet.

After she had been in the bathroom for more than 10 minutes, court police heard a loud cry and barged in to find Ding dead with a knife sticking out of her chest.

Deputy Minister of Justice Chen Ming-tang yesterday said that a judicial investigation has been launched to determine if negligence on behalf of the court police or Taipei police officers for failing to search Ding for any weapons had led to her suicide.