The family of deceased army corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘) yesterday condemned the prosecutors in the trial following his death for what they called their failure to provide concrete evidence to the Taoyuan District Court showing that Hung died as a result of intentional action, not professional negligence.
The court on Friday found 13 military officials guilty of abusing their power by restricting Hung’s personal freedom when placing him in disciplinary confinement and sentenced them to between three and eight months in prison.
The verdict sparked an angry response from the Hungs, who said the sentences are too light.
The 24-year-old Hung collapsed from heatstroke after participating in punishment exercises on July 3 last year and died in hospital a day later, just three days before he was due to be discharged from his compulsory military service.
“From the military prosecutors to those working at the Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office, all were too passive and conservative. They did not try their best to find concrete evidence to prosecute the defendants appropriately,” said Hung’s sister, Hung Tzu-yung (洪慈庸).
“Sentencing him [Hung Chung-chiu] to disciplinary confinement was not an act of professional negligence, nor an infringement on his personal liberty, but a move intentioned to hurt him or even torture him to death. We have not given up on achieving justice and hope that the judges in the second trial will recognize this,” she added.
Physician Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), the frontrunner among the pan-green candidates aspiring to contest the Taipei mayoral election, said the public feels the defendants were punished too lightly, adding that after reading the verdict, he could not find truth in it.
Meanwhile, an attorney for the highest-ranking official in the case, former 542nd Brigade commander Major General Shen Wei-chih (沈威志), yesterday said that Shen maintained his innocence and would appeal the guilty ruling with the High Court.
The court sentenced Shen to six months in prison for abusing his authority in confining Hung Chung-chiu.