TAIPEI, Taiwan - The Taipei District Prosecutors Office (TDPO) announced yesterday that prosecutors indicted 60 suspects involved in the fatal beating of a police detective on charges of murder and aggravated assault.
TDPO spokesman Chang Chieh-chin said prosecutors asked the judge to impose severe sentences on 21 of the defendants who took part in the savage beating that led to the death of Detective Hsueh Chen-kuo.
After suspects Tseng Wei-hao and his girlfriend Liu Hsin-tung quarrelled with a nightclub security guard on Sept 13, Liu contacted Hsiao Rei-hung.
The three then relocated to another nightclub to discuss how to get revenge on the security guard. Hsiao left a note on a Line group chat, inviting his friends, many of whom are affiliated with criminal syndicates, to assist Tseng later that night.
After the mob gathered at the nearby Dajia Riverside Park, they headed toward the nightclub and had a fight with the security guards there.
A police officer surnamed Chung passed by and contacted Hsueh. After arriving at the scene and shouting at the crowd, Hsueh was dragged outside and beaten to death at around 1 a.m. on Sept. 14.
The 21 suspects charged with murder and assault include Hsiao, Wan Shao-cheng and Yi Pao-hung.
Another 12 defendants, including Tseng and Liu, were charged with aggravated assault. The remaining 34 suspects who did not attack Hsueh were charged with encouraging the mob attack at the crime scene.
Chang said that after the 17 detained suspects, including Tseng, Liu and Hsiao are transferred to the Taipei District Court today, the judge will decide whether they should be remanded into custody.
As of press time, two more suspects have been transferred to the TDPO for questioning. With the addition of five under-age suspects who were sent to juvenile court, there are 67 suspects involved in the case. This is the largest number of suspects charged with murder and aggravated assault in recent history.
Chang said that although Tseng and Liu asked Hsiao to gather a group of acquaintances to settle their disputes with a nightclub security guard, they did not have murderous intentions.
They have been charged with aggravated assault, which might lead to a prison term of over seven years or possibly even life imprisonment.
The other suspects, charged with murder, may face punishments of more than 10 years in prison. The death penalty has not been ruled out.