Kaohsiung mayor-elect Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) was convicted of negligent manslaughter in connection with a January 2004 traffic accident, and had taken “full legal and moral responsibility” for the incident, Han campaign spokeswoman Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華) said yesterday.
The accident was “not a hit and run” and Han had been given “a two-year probationary sentence” and paid the victim’s family NT$4.5 million (NT$145,914 at the current exchange rate), Hsu told a news conference in Taipei.
“The memory of this incident causes Han sadness, but the tragedy was caused by the other party, who was speeding and did not have a driver’s license,” she said.
Photo: Chang Chung-yi, Taipei Times
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate knew that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) had passed information about his criminal record to its candidate, Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), in the final days of the campaign, she said.
“We applaud Chen for not adding salt to the wounds of the victim’s family and competing in the election as a gentleman, but we deplore the DPP for making this an issue now,” she said. “The DPP should refrain from using negative information in future campaigns.”
The news conference came after online Chinese-language Next Magazine reported that Han was involved in a fatal collision with a motorcycle in Yunlin County 14 years ago.
The motorcyclist, a man surnamed Huang (黃), was badly injured, while his passenger, a man surnamed Pai (白), died of his injuries eight days later, Next said.
Huang was riding a heavy motorcycle, for which he did not have the appropriate license, and going at 90kph, 40kph above the speed limit, it said.
The court found Han guilty for failing to be duly alert, for not slowing down at a flashing red light and not stopping at a crossroad, the magazine said, citing the court ruling, and sentenced him to six months in prison and two years of probation.
The conviction became widely known on Friday last week after a story alleging Chen would run negative ads about a road accident began to circulate on social media, including on Line and the Professional Technology Temple (PTT) online bulletin board.
It is not clear if Han served a six-month term or if he was able to convert it to a longer period of probation.
Han said during a live-interview on SET-TV on Saturday night that he had been involved in a fatal accident, but did not give details, the magazine said.
Pai’s mother told Next Media that Han had not been willing to pay compensation beyond the insurance coverage until the Pai family made a request via Han’s parents-in-law.
However, she added that she had forgiven him and hopes he does a good job as mayor.
Pai’s brother told the magazine that Han did not show up at the settlement negotiations and that the family did not know if the police had given him a sobriety test.
At a separate news conference later in the day in Kaohsiung, Han expressed remorse about the incident, but said that he did not want to elaborate or add to the suffering of the family of the deceased, adding that it had been settled legally.
Also at the news conference, representatives of Russia-based Royal Flight — whom Han had invited to speak — said the airline is to increase its direct flights to Kaohsiung International Airport.
A study published by online booking platform Expedia revealed searches for travel to Taipei have ballooned 2,786 percent following the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions due to the city being a “designation dupe” for Seoul. The TikTok trend for duping — referring to substituting a designation for a more inexpensive alternative — helped propel interest in Taipei, it said in a consumer survey titled “Unpack ‘24,” which was conducted from September to October in 14 countries. Location dupes are “every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true places travelers love,” Expedia trend tracker Melanie Fish said of the year’s popular alternatives, which
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
A small-scale protest that called on the government to cancel its plan to welcome Indian migrant workers in a bid to tackle Taiwan’s labor shortage was held in Taipei yesterday. During the protest, comprised of a few dozen people staged in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard, the protest’s chief initiator, a woman identified only as “Yuna” said they wanted the central government to reconsider allowing migrant workers from India to enter Taiwan. Most people in Taiwan had little knowledge about the potential plan to allow in Indian migrant workers until a report in the media last month, she
STABILITY AND CHANGE: Flagging in recent polls, Ko this week pledged to maintain President Tsai’s foreign policy, with an emphasis on improving China relations Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday reiterated that he is “deep-green at heart” in response to accusations that he is pivoting his campaign to align closer with the ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the face of flagging polls. Ko made the remark at an agricultural policy conference in Taipei, repeating his comments from an interview with CTS News a day earlier. Ko told the CTS host that he would continue to pursue President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national defense and foreign policy in general, but with an emphasis on establishing a rapport with