Case against four protesters dropped

By Fu Chao-piao, Peng Chien-li and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Fri, Aug 30, 2013 - Page 3

The Miaoli District Prosecutors’ Office on Wednesday closed its investigation into four people accused of splashing paint on the door of Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-hung’s (劉政鴻) residence in Houloung Township (後龍) on July 19 without filing charges.

Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷), Lin Chin (林沁), Lin Ching-how (林靖豪) and Lala Lin (林羿含) had been accused of defamation of a government institution and destruction of property during a protest against Liu’s handling of demonstrations against the demolition of four homes in Dapu Borough (大埔).

According to the official report, after questioning the police officers on duty at the time, prosecutors determined that the actions of the four were not enough to tarnish the name of the county government or undermine its authority, and did not constitute slandering a government institution as defined in the Criminal Code. They also said Liu’s home was not a government facility.

The prosecutors said that Lala Lin had only filmed the incident and had not held any of the paint, while Lin Chin and Lin Ching-how had splashed white and yellow paint on the front door, but did not damage the road in front of the house.

They also noted that Liu’s guards had been able to stop Chen before he could throw any paint.

The prosecutors said none of the actions fit the criteria of destruction of property, because the paint could be removed by chemical products.

Liu and the Miaoli County Government have not commented on the prosecutors’ decision to drop the case.

However, Chen said: “That is the way it should be.”

The county’s police department was always leveling unsubstantiated charges against protesters, he said.

The prosecutors’ decision to drop the indictment showed the underhanded tactics of the police and attempts to frame protesters would no longer work, he added.