The convictions of about 1,000 people tried during the White Terror era are to be annulled by next month, the Transitional Justice Commission said yesterday.
Prisoners of conscience and other White Terror victims who have already received compensation from the state would have their convictions struck from records of the Judicial Yuan, the ministries of justice and national defense, and the National Police Agency, commission Deputy Chairman Chang Tien-chin (張天欽) said.
However, the convictions in 96 cases, where the commission deemed the evidence of espionage was credible, would not be overturned, he said.
The commission’s decisions were made according the Act Governing the Recovery of Damage of Individual Rights During the Period of Martial Law (戒嚴時期人民受損權利回復條例) and the Compensation Act for Wrongful Trials on Charges of Sedition and Espionage During the Martial Law Period (戒嚴時期不當叛亂暨匪諜審判案件補償條例), he said.
Cases that did not involve political crimes would be reviewed at a later time, the commission said.
That was a disappointment to the family of Voyue Tosku (杜孝生), the first Tsou to become doctor of Western medicine, sources said.
A military tribunal convicted him and sentenced him to 17 years in prison. He served three.
His surviving family members have appealed to the commission to reconsider its decision, they said.
The commission is going to reopen several cases — including that of Voyue Tosku and the Wuhan Hotel (武漢旅社) incident — where an unfair sentence not covered by the above laws could have been made, Chang said, citing Article 6 of the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice (促進轉型正義條例).
However, his case has to be reviewed before a determination can be made about whether his conviction was a miscarriage of justice, the commission said.
Voyue Tosku studied at Taihoku Imperial University — which became National Taiwan University in November 1945 — and after World War II became a public sanitation official in the then-Wufeng Township (吳鳳), Chiayi County.
He became embroiled in the 1952 treason case of another Tsou, Uyongu Yatauyanguna (湯守仁), a proponent of Aboriginal autonomy, and was charged with corruption in connection to his position as head of an Aboriginal agricultural commune.
In addition to being sentenced to prison, his property was confiscated, while Uyongu Yatauyanguna and two other defendants convicted in the case were executed by firing squad in 1953.
In 1997, Voyue Tosku applied to the Memorial Foundation of 228 for state compensation for his conviction, but his request was rejected on grounds that he had not been convicted of a political crime.
He died in 2001.
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