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Man who rammed Presidential Office fined; case closed

2017/01/12 14:13:41

Chang Te-cheng (張德正) (CNA file photo)

Taipei, Jan. 12 (CNA) The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a man who ran his gravel truck into the Presidential Office compound in 2014, and the company he worked for, must pay NT$2.23 million (US$70,300) in compensation in a civil suit filed by the office, bringing an end to the case.

The court upheld a Taiwan High Court ruling on an appeal by the Taipei-based Hau Ming Enterprise Co. (好名企業), after the Taipei District Court ruled on Dec. 8, 2015 that the company and Chang Te-cheng (張德正) must pay the Presidential Office a total of NT$3.44 million in compensation for the damage Chang caused by his action.

Hau Ming Enterprise appealed that "depreciation" must be taken into consideration in the valuation of the damaged objects and facilities, because the damaged items were "old stuff" that had to be replaced.

The Presidential Office, however, defended the ruling, saying that the building was constructed in 1911 and has been designated as a national historic monument. When such a heritage site is sabotaged, its value will still decline, even if it is fully renovated, the office argued.

After taking the arguments of both sides into account, the Taiwan High Court ruled in September last year that Chang and Hau Ming Enterprise must pay NT$2.23 million in compensation.

The case was closed for good after the Supreme Court decided to uphold the High Court ruling.

Chang, 43, ran a 35-ton gravel truck through the front gate of the Presidential Office early in the morning on Jan. 25, 2014 to vent his anger after feeling wronged in a court ruling on his domestic violence case.

He then rammed through railings, security posts and security gates, and drove toward the Presidential Office's main entrance before a military policeman closed a bulletproof gate to stop the speeding truck.

Taipei district prosecutors indicted him that same year on several charges, including attempted murder, obstruction of official duties, and damaging property and a historic site.

Chang was sentenced to five years and 10 months at his first trial, and a higher court increased the sentence in September 2015 to six years because he showed no remorse for his actions during the appeal process.

Chang did not appeal the verdict and began serving his term on Nov. 17, 2015.

(By Wang Yang-yu and Elizabeth Hsu)