Family of corporal has no plans to seek compensation

Hung Tse-yung (top L) stands next to her parents as she holds a portrait of her brother, Hung Chung-chiu.

Family members of Army Corporal Hung Chung-chiu, who died of heatstroke earlier this month after being sent to a military detention cell, said yesterday that they currently have no plans to seek compensation from the central government.

Hung's sister, Hung Tzu-yung, said the top priority for the family right now is to get to the bottom of the tragedy and find those who are responsible for her younger brother's death.

Hung Tzu-yung said the military has previously sent representatives to bring up the subject of monetary compensation over her brother's death, but that her family has rejected the proposal.

"They (the military) just wanted to use money to solve the problem once and for all," she added.

She said the family is reluctant to file for national compensation because it would mean that taxpayers would be paying for the military's mistake.

If the family does decide to seek compensation, they want those responsible for Hung's death to pay it, she said.

She reiterated allegations made by the family that Hung died not from heatstroke but because of sustained torture at the hands of more than one military member who were monitoring Hung's confinement.

Hung Tzu-yung's remarks came amid reports that the Army is expected to assist the Hung family in asking for government compensation over the death.

Asked to comment, Defence Minister Kao Hua-chu yesterday said he was not aware that the Army could file for national compensation on behalf of the Hungs.

He stressed that the military will not do so until the Hung family has made a request for assistance.

Four Witnesses Questioned

In related news, the Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office yesterday questioned four witnesses regarding Hung's death. Information from the four could prove crucial in solving the mysteries regarding the conscript's death, the office said.

Prosecutors also checked video footage of Hung's confinement to clear up the allegations surrounding the death; however, they refused to disclose the identities of the four key witnesses as the investigation is ongoing.

Hung's case was initially investigated by military prosecutors and the Ministry of National Defence (MND) after the victim's family demanded a fair probe.

The MND and the Ministry of Justice on Wednesday announced that military prosecutors and civilian prosecutors would work together on an investigation into Hung's death.