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Prosecutors appeal ruling in entertainer's assault case

2012/05/10 16:49:04

Taipei, May 10 (CNA) Prosecutors appealed Thursday against a court decision to convict Taiwanese-Japanese actress Makiyo and her Japanese friend Takateru Tomoyori on a lesser charge of "inflicting bodily harm" in a recent assault on a taxi driver rather than the more serious charge of "inflicting serious bodily harm."

The Taipei District Prosecutors Office said in a statement that based on Makiyo and Tomoyori's actions in the assault, they should be dealt with in accordance with Article 278 of the Criminal Code, which stipulates the punishments for causing serious physical injury to other individuals, or attempting to do so.

The article states that an individual who causes serious physical injury to another should be sentenced to a jail term of between five and 12 years and that attempted serious physical injury is also punishable.

The Taipei District Court sentenced Makiyo to 10 months in prison on April 26, while Tomoyori was given a one-year sentence. However, both sentences were suspended because they pleaded guilty to assaulting the driver and reached an out-of-court settlement with him.

Makiyo and Tomoyori were charged with assault after they were caught on video beating up taxi driver Lin Yu-chun on the night of Feb. 2. The incident was triggered by Lin's refusal to accede to Makiyo's demand to drive faster, according to the court verdict.

Lin suffered two fractured ribs and serious head injuries that left him with concussion and a brain hemorrhage.

Lin later accepted a NT$3 million (US$102,179) out-of-court settlement with the pair.

The court said in a statement after the ruling that the evidence presented did not prove that Makiyo and Tomoyori intended to cause serious physical harm, since the attack lasted for less than a minute. Lin's injuries were not untreatable and did not amount to the definition of serious bodily harm, it added.

Meanwhile, local actresses Yaz and Vanessa, who were also at the scene when the assault took place, were given suspended prosecutions, but were fined NT$120,000 and NT$80,000, respectively, for their alleged involvement in perjury when first interrogated by investigators, the Prosecutors Office said.

The office also decided not to indict a police detective, Yeh Hung-sheng, who failed to turn over a crucial video taken from a car's dashboard camera that filmed the assault, saying that there was no evidence to suggest that Yeh was trying to destroy the video.

Another detective, Yang Kuo-chang, was given a suspended prosecution and fined NT$30,000 for leaking another piece of video evidence to a TV news reporter instead of handing it over to prosecutors, the Prosecutors Office added.

(By Liu Shih-yi and Jamie Wang)