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Taiwan man gets 24 years jail for election rally shooting

He had wounded former vice-president Lien Chan's son and killed a bystander. -AFP

Fri, May 11, 2012

Sean Lien was injured after a gangster shot him in the face while he was campaigning for the ruling Kuomintang party on Nov 26 in an incident that observers believed swung some sympathy votes for the party.

TAIPEI - A Taiwanese court on Friday jailed a man for 24 years for a shooting at a rally on the eve of local polls in 2010 that wounded former vice-president Lien Chan's son and killed a bystander.

Lin Cheng-wei was convicted of attempted murder and illegal possession of firearms and also given a fine of Tw$200,000 (S$8,500), said the district court in the suburbs of Taipei. He can appeal the ruling.

Lin was arrested at the scene after shooting Sean Lien in the face at a campaign rally of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party in November 2010 near Taipei.

He had intended to shoot a KMT candidate at the rally, with whom he had a personal dispute, but accidentally shot Lien who was standing in the centre of the stage.

A man in the crowd was hit by the same bullet and died on the spot, only hours before Taiwanese voters went to the polls in key local elections.

Lien was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery and released after ten days of treatment.

The incident revived painful memories of another election-eve shooting in 2004, when then president Chen Shui-bian and his deputy Annette Lu were shot while campaigning for re-election.

Critics alleged that the shooting was staged to win sympathy for Chen, who eventually won by a razor-thin margin in a disputed election that plunged the island into political turmoil for months.


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