The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered that a British man who helped a fellow Briton flee the country be detained before sentencing for showing contempt for the law.
The man, identified only as an English teacher named David, is accused of helping Zain Dean, who was convicted of a fatal hit-and-run in Taipei.
Dean was sentenced to four years in prison in July last year for the death of a newspaper deliveryman in a drunk-driving accident in March 2010. Dean used David’s passport to board a flight at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Aug. 14 last year.
During yesterday’s court hearing, David’s lawyer argued that since his client had admitted to helping Dean abscond, there was no longer any concern about colluding with witnesses, nor destruction of evidence and since he is not a suspect in a crime that carries a prison term of five years or more, there was no reason to keep him in custody. He asked that David be remanded on bail.
However, prosecutors said David had shown contempt for the nation’s laws by helping another foreign national flee the country. As a foreign national himself, there was also a risk that he might flee before going on trial, so the prosecutors asked that he be held in detention.
The judge ruled that David had not abided by the law and shown contempt for it by helping Dean flee. Since there was a risk that he might try to leave the country, the judge granted the prosecutors’ request.
He is being held at the Taipei Foreigner Detention Center in Sansia Township (三峽), New Taipei City (新北市).
David will be sentenced on May 30. He, along with Dean and Dean’s girlfriend, Tung Yu-chi (董玉琪), were charged with forgery and concealment, and violating the Immigration Act (入出國移民法).
Tung reportedly helped apply make-up to change Dean’s facial appearance and assisted in making arrangements for his escape.
An all-points bulletin was issued for Dean in January.