Military to prosecute officers involved in death of Army conscript
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, July 30 (CNA) Military prosecutors are expected to formally indict an undisclosed number of officers as early as Wednesday for offenses against personal freedom and abuse of a subordinate in the case of Army Corporal Hung Chung-chiu.
Unconfirmed press reports said that charges were being prepared Tuesday night for indictments to be made public on Wednesday morning, ahead of a second demonstration over the incident planned for Aug. 3. The first one, held in Taipei on July 20, drew some 30,000 participants.
Four officers have been detained and three others, including a one-star brigade commander, have been listed as defendants in the case.
The military prosecutors were winding up their investigation Tuesday as President Ma Ying-jeou pledged a thorough investigation of the case and a review of military systems so that no similar cases will happen in the future.
The 24-year-old Army conscript died July 4 of severe heatstroke during strenuous exercise as part of his punishment for bringing a camera phone onto his base, just two days before he was scheduled to be discharged.
In addition to a groundswell of support and sympathy for the bereaved family, there has been a public outcry over the alleged abuse of power and disregard for human rights in the military.
Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu is stepping down Thursday in the political firestorm, to be replaced by his deputy Andrew Yang.
In its initial report, the Ministry of National Defense admitted that, instead of being thrown into a brig, Hung should have received administrative discipline for his offense and once he was in detention, he should not have been subject to the physical exercises because he was clearly overweight and because of the dangerous heat at the time.
(By Lee Shu-hua and Elizabeth Hsu)
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