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Man confesses to 1996 murder after execution of innocent man

2011/01/29 19:33

Taipei, Jan.29 (CNA) The Taipei District Court ordered Saturdaythe detention of a man who admitted to raping and killing a littlegirl in 1996 after prosecutors re-examined the case that was closedwith the execution of an apparenly innocent man.

Hsu Jung-chou was detained following an appearance in court onFriday when he confessed to acting alone when he commited the heinouscrime.

The case was re-opened after the Control Yuan censured themilitary last May over flaws in its probe into the crime, in whichthe girl, identified only by her surname Hsieh, was found deadoutside a toilet at the Air Force Combat Command in Taipei City.

There was an outcry at the time because of the age of the victimand the brutal way she met her death.

Control Yuan ombudsmen discovered that military investigators,under pressure to crack the case, had tortured Chiang Kuo-ching, ayoung conscript, to extract a confession. The Control Yuan is abranch of government that monitors the behavior of public officialsand civil servants.

Once in court, Chiang withdrew his confession and pleaded notguilty but was executed in August 1997, less than a year after thecrime took place.

Following the censure against the military in 2010, the SupremeProsecutors Office ordered a new investigation.

On Friday, prosecutors in the central city of Taichung summonedHsu, a fellow soldier of Chiang's who also served at the Air Forcebase when the murder occurred, for questions related to the case andanother case of child molestation.

When questioned, Hsu said that he was the perpetrator of the 1996crime, according to the prosecutors.

Hsu had been convicted in two other molestation cases whichhappened in 1997 and 2003, respectively. He was sentenced to a totalof 12 and a half years in prison but won a parole last year.

Hsu was detained in the early hours of Saturday. His lawyer said,however, that he is mentally challenged and that there are doubts inthe man's latest confession.

(By Elizabeth Hsu)enditem/jc