President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and top government officials yesterday apologized to the family of a Malaysian student who was murdered in Kaohsiung on Thursday, and vowed to improve public safety.
“We want to express our deepest regret to the victim and her family,” Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) quoted Tsai as saying.
“The case shows that Taiwan has loopholes in its public safety measures,” Chang said. “We must ensure that such a tragedy will not happen again.”
The victim, identified only by her surname, Chung (鍾), was a student at Chang Jung Christian University in Tainan. She was reported missing early on Thursday, with a search leading police to believe that she had been abducted. Late on Thursday, police in Kaohsiung detained Liang Yu-chih (梁育誌), who allegedly confessed that he strangled the 24-year-old to death and disposed of the body in rural Kaohsiung.
Based on Liang’s confession, police later discovered Chung’s body.
Prosecutors also cited Liang as saying that he has sexually assaulted the victim before strangling her.
Liang said that he then dragged her to his car with the intention to assault her again, but found that she was already dead, they added.
Prosecutors believe that Chung was alive for many hours while in the car and evidence suggests that Liang further assaulted her.
Prosecutors said Liang stole the victim’s mobile phone and quoted him as saying that he took the phone “as collateral,” as he had to pay NT$800 for gasoline.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday also apologized to Chung’s family, saying that he has ordered Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) and National Police Agency Director-General Chen Ja-chin (陳家欽) to lead the investigations.
Tainan Mayor Huang Wei-che (黃偉哲) said that he must personally apologize to the victim’s family, adding that the city government would begin an internal review process.
Liang in September allegedly tried to abduct another female student, but the police dropped the investigation.
The city government has long been accused of neglecting public safety, as street lights and security cameras at the entrance to the university campus were not working.
Meanwhile, Chung’s parents are slated to arrive in Taiwan today, and her mother said that Liang should “pay with his life” for her daughter’s death.
“I hope the murderer will be executed by hanging so that he knows how my daughter suffered when he murdered her,” the mother said on Friday, adding that she wants to meet Liang to ask him about how he tortured her daughter.
Chung’s father said that he also wants Liang to be executed, adding that he wants to bring home his daughter’s ashes and never come to Taiwan again.
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