Taiwan's ministry of defence wins wrongful execution suit

Taiwan's ministry of defence wins wrongful execution suit

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Former Defence Minister Chen Chao-min, former Air Force counterintelligence officer Ho Tsu-yao and four other defendants were sentenced to pay a total of over NT$59.55 million (S$2.5 million) to the Ministry of National Defence (MND) over allegations of being responsible for the wrongful execution of an airman, according to the Taipei District Court yesterday.

The former airman, Chiang Kuo-ching, was executed in 1997 on rape and murder charges in a case involving a 5-year-old female victim at the Air Force Combat Command in Taipei in 1996.

Over 10 years after the execution, a reopening of the case carried out by the Control Yuan in 2011 discovered that the airman was wrongfully executed. The Control Yuan deemed that Chen, who was then an Air Force commander, and six others were responsible for Chiang's coerced confession for the death of the girl.

According to Control Yuan members, Chiang was tortured continuously for 37 hours, eventually leading to his confession and execution.

A record of NT$103.18 million in national compensation was awarded to Chiang's family by the military in 2011 in accordance with the Criminal Compensation Act.

The MND later decided to file a civil suit against Chen and five other suspects involved in the case, demanding that they compensate the military for the payout already awarded to the family. The ministry at the same time asked the court to seize their assets to prevent them from shirking their alleged responsibility to surrender the NT$103.18 million.

After over two years of lawsuit proceedings, the Taipei District Court yesterday issued its ruling, demanding that the six suspects pay fines to the MND. The ruling is subject to appeal.

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