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Victims' relatives reject apology by subway knifeman's parents

2014/05/27 21:03:23

Taipei, May 27 (CNA) The families of the four victims in a stabbing spree aboard a Taipei subway train last week have refused to accept an apology offered Tuesday by the parents of the lone attacker.

The bereaved relatives said the parents of 21-year-old Cheng Chieh should apologize by visiting the mourning halls.

Escorted by police, Cheng's weeping parents kneeled in front of reporters and a crowd that had gathered at Jiangzicui metro station in New Taipei to mark the exact time when the attack took place seven days ago.

Wielding two knives, Chieh allegedly killed four people and injured 24 others on a subway train May 21. He was apprehended when the train stopped at Jiangzicui Station.

Since then, there have been calls for his parents to apologize for his actions and take some responsibility for the incident.

Cheng's father, who has not been identified by name, said in his public apology that he hopes his son will receive a speedy trial and "be a good person in his next life," suggesting that he expects his son to be sentenced to death and executed.

In response, the mother of the youngest victim Chang Cheng-han, a 26-year-old graduate student at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), said Chen's parents failed to educate their son well and had caused serious problems in the society. "Family education is very important," Chang's mother reiterated.

If Cheng's parents really want to offer an apology, they should go to the victims' mourning halls, Chang's mother said. "However, my son will not return to life," she lamented.

Chang's father also said that an apology was meaningless and could not ease his pain. He said he can only hope that there will be no recurrences of such an incident in Taiwan.

Chang was set to obtain a master's degree in business administration and international business from NCKU in Tainan City this summer. When the attack took place, he was in Taipei for a job interview.

"How can we accept this?" Chang's father asked.

The sister of another victim also said her family cannot accept the apology offered by Cheng's parents and that they should go instead to the mourning hall for her 28-year-old brother Hsieh Ching-yun and apologize to him.

Meanwhile, the son of Pan Pi-chu, who was killed the day before her 52nd birthday, said he can accept Cheng's parents' apology to the general public but not to the families of the four victims. He also urged Cheng's parents to go to the mourning halls and offer their apologies there.

(By Huang Kuo-fang, Jay Chen and Evelyn Kao)

Related stories:
●May 27: Leave metro killer's parents alone: New Taipei mayor
●May 27: Under pressure, metro attacker's parents offer tearful apology

[Metro Taipei observes five minutes of silences by showing this message from 4:26 p.m. CNA photo May 27, 2014]