Court orders Chang Te-cheng released on bail

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Feb 01, 2014 - Page 2

Following a detention hearing lasting nearly four-and-a-half hours, the Taipei District Court last night ordered that Chang Te-cheng (張德正), who allegedly ran his truck into the Presidential Office last week, be released on bail of NT$150,000, but that he should be confined to his home.

Chang, an air force veteran, is accused of attempted murder and obstructing the performance of public duties among other charges.

The 41-year-old was brought to the Taipei Prosecutors’ Office for questioning on Wednesday right after being discharged from National Taiwan University Hospital, where he had been receiving treatment for injuries sustained during the incident on Jan. 25.

The district court yesterday afternoon held its third hearing on Chang’s case following an order from the Taiwan High Court to review the detention request filed by the Taipei City Prosecutors’ Office, which filed an appeal immediately after its request was rejected by the district court on Thursday.

On Thursday, the district court placed Chang in the care of his three lawyers, saying the suspect’s hand and back injuries restrict him from moving around without risking a serious spinal injury.

Prior to yesterday, the district court had ruled twice this week that the defendant may be released without bail, saying Chang does not present a flight risk given his physical condition.

In its statement early yesterday morning after granting the prosecutors’ appeal, the High Court said that while detention of an accused may be suspended without bail, and the accused may be committed to the custody of a person who may act as their assistant or another suitable person within the judicial district of the court, the three defense attorneys are not the defendant’s assistants and the district court’s ruling did not say on what grounds the defendant should be remanded into the care of three attorneys.

Chang is believed to have been motivated by grievances over a case of domestic violence in which he was detained for 40 days as punishment three years ago.

Prosecutors said they would file an appeal.