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Ex-ministers to be questioned in possible wrongful execution probe

2011/01/30 20:57:30

Taipei, Jan. 30 (CNA) Former defense ministers Chen Chao-min andLee Tien-yu will be questioned by prosecutors on their roles in theconviction and execution of a soldier for the rape and murder of achild in 1996, sources said Sunday.

At the time, Chen was Air Force Combat commander, and Lee Tien-yuwas the director of Air Force Political Warfare Department.

The 20-year-old conscript, Chiang Kuo-ching, who was serving inthe Air Force Combat Command confessed to raping and killing a5-year-old girl, but Chiang withdrew his confession in court andpleaded not guilty.

Chiang was tried and executed by a military court in August 1997,less than a year after the crime took place.

Following a censure of the military in 2010, the SupremeProsecutors Office ordered a new investigation into the case.

The government watchdog Control Yuan found that militaryinvestigators, under pressure to crack the case, had tortured Chiangto extract a confession.

In the ongoing investigation into the matter, prosecutors inTaipei will question Chen, Lee and other military personnel who weredirectly involved in Chiang's interrogation.

In the last eight months, prosecutors have questioned more than20 people who were connected to the case.

In the early hours of Jan. 29, a court in Taipei detained HsuJung-chou, a fellow soldier of Chiang's who confessed to the 1996crime.

Meanwhile, ruling Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Lin Yu-fang urgedthe Ministry of National Defense to carry out a full-scaleinvestigation to determine whether there were other similar cases.

The ministry should also encourage people who have been torturedin military interrogations to file complaints, he added.

(By Lin Chung-sen, Emmanuelle Tzeng and Alex Jiang)