High Court upholds ruling in death of gang member

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Jun 20, 2019 - Page 4

The Taiwan High Court on Tuesday upheld a conviction against three men in the beating death of gang member Chen Chih-chiang (陳智強) in June last year, but handed down heavier punishments, saying the defendants had carried out the murder with extreme cruelty and had shown no remorse for their actions.

The High Court sentenced Lee Hao (李灝) to 18 years in prison, Lee Chih-hao (李志豪) to 13 years and Chen Po-an (陳柏安) to 12 years in the second ruling in the case.

The New Taipei City District Court in the first ruling sentenced the men to 14 years, 12 years and 11 years in prison respectively.

The suspects were all 25 years old when they kidnapped Chen Chih-chiang before beating him with a baseball bat and metal rods.

They have said they wanted to “teach him a lesson” over a dispute.

Background checks showed that Chen Chih-chiang was the boss of a local chapter of the Bamboo Union gang and was active in Taipei’s Nangang (南港) and New Taipei City’s Sijhih (汐止) districts, where the organized crime syndicate had been involved in loan sharking, debt collection and extortion, officials said.

The defendants were reportedly low-ranking members of a rival chapter of the Tien Dao Meng gang operating in the same areas, and they had a financial dispute with the victim over the operation of underground businesses.

Lee Hao led the beating and torture of Chen Chih-chiang, which involved using a heated metal rod to burn his back and buttocks, in addition to repeated blows using a bat and rods, investigators said.

After three hours of beating, the suspects wrapped duct tape around Chen Chih-chiang’s neck, who later died from the injuries he had sustained and loss of blood, investigators said.

An autopsy determined that Chen Chih-chiang’s body was covered in bruises and his skull was fractured, they added.

The suspects appealed the first ruling, saying they should not be charged with murder and that it was a case of causing unintentional death due to injuries, which carries a lighter sentence.

The High Court struck down the appeal, saying they had killed the victim in an extremely cruel manner, had initially denied taking part in the beating and showed no remorse for their actions.