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Court seeks compensation from ex-minister over airman's death

2012/04/12 17:12:35

Taipei, April 12 (CNA) The Northern Military District Court filed a civil suit Thursday against former Defense Minister Chen Chao-min and five others implicated in the wrongful execution of an airman 15 years ago, seeking NT$14.75 million (US$499,492) in compensation from each ofthem.

Chen was chief of the Air Force Combat Command at the time of the conviction. The other five are former Air Force legal departmentdirector Tsao Chia-sheng, former military prosecutor Huang Jui-peng,and former Air Force counterintelligence agents Ko Chung-ching,Ho Tsu-yao and Li Chih-jen, according to a Ministry of National Defensestatement.

Li has already died, and his share of the money is now theresponsibility of his heirs.

The legal action was taken after the six refused to reimburse the court for compensation awarded to the victim's family,the statement said.

In October 2011, the military court awarded NT$103 million in compensation to Wang Tsai-lien, the mother of Chiang Kuo-ching, the Air Force serviceman who was executed in 1997 for a rape and murder he did not commit.

According to a decision by a compensation review committee formed by the court, the six officials, as well as former counterintelligence agent Teng Chen-huan, committed major mistakes in the case and should be held responsible for paying the compensation to Chiang's family, the ministry statement said.

None of the involved officials have shown any intention ofmaking the payment except for Teng, who reached a NT$2.8 millionsettlement with the committee and made the payment April 6, thestatement said.

Chiang was convicted of raping and killing a 5-year-old girl at the Air Force Combat Command in Taipei in 1996 and was executed a year later at the age of 21.

His conviction and execution, however, were determined many years later to be a case of coerced confession, with at least six officials found to have tortured him.

Chiang was acquitted in a posthumous retrial in September 2011.

(By Chen Pei-huang and Y.F. Low)