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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Court denies ex-defense minister to pay most in soldier's death

ROC Central News Agency

2012/02/13 16:44:49

By Chen Pei-huang and Lilian Wu

Taipei, Feb. 13 (CNA) A military court on Monday denied reports that a former defense minister will pay the highest amount of compensation for his alleged role in the wrongful execution of a soldier.

The Northern Military District Court said such reports concerning Chen Chao-min are "purely speculations" and "are far from true."

The court noted that as the documents and number of people involved in the case are numerous, a committee has notified officers that may be required to pay compensation to state their views. The court has also requested that representatives of related agencies provide any details that may shed light on the case.

"The committee has convened nine review meetings, but has yet to make any decisions," the court said.

The military court, after awarding NT$103 million (US$3.49 million) last October in compensation to Wang Tsai-lien, the mother of Chiang Kuo-ching, an air force serviceman who was wrongfully executed for a rape and murder he did not commit, sought to freeze the assets of eight former military officers, including Chen, who was then chief of the Air Force Combat Command, allegedly involved in the case.

The military court filed for an injunction on Nov. 29 at the Taipei District Court for the their assets to be frozen to prevent the possibility of the officers hiding them to avoid making compensation payments, if they are later ruled to pay compensation.

In 1996, Chiang was accused of raping and killing a 5-year-old girl at the Air Force Combat Command in Taipei. He is believed to have been tortured and coerced into confessing to Air Force counterintelligence officers and was later convicted and sentenced to death. He was executed a year later at the age of 21.

Chiang was acquitted of the charges by a military court in a posthumous retrial in September 2011, with the court ruling that his confession was not given freely and was therefore not admissible.

The evidence presented in the case, such as the suspected murder weapon and tissues stained with the child's blood, was also not necessarily conclusive and was not subject to modern forensic examination, the court ruled.

Another former Air Force serviceman, Hsu Jung-chou, was arrested earlier 2011 and confessed to the crime. Prosecutors in May indicted him on homicide charges and sought a 20-year jail term for him.

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