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Former army commander found not culpable in conscript's death

2018/01/24 22:52:08

Major General Shen Wei-chih (沈威志)/file photo

Taipei, Jan. 24 (CNA) The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a not guilty verdict in a case against a former Army commander, who was accused of ordering physical punishment that led to the death of a corporal.

The ruling brought to an end the 5-year-long case, which stemmed from the death of 24-year-old Corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘) in a military confinement facility in July 2013.

Major General Shen Wei-chih (沈威志), commander of the 542 Brigade in which Hung was serving, was one of the officers accused of causing the death of Hung, who had been punished for taking a cellphone onto the Army base in violation of regulations.

On July 3, 2013, Hung collapsed from heatstroke, after being forced to perform a series of strenuous drills, and he died a day later in hospital.

Shen, one of the officers charged after Hung's death, was acquitted in the High Court in 2017, but prosecutors appealed the verdict and took the case to the Supreme Court, which upheld the lower court's ruling on Wednesday.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court said there was no evidence to indicate that Shen intended for Hung to be kept in confinement.

Also on Wednesday, the Supreme Court upheld a sentence of four months in prison with two years of probation against Chen Yi-hsun (陳毅勳), who was the correctional officer in charge of Hung's drills at the time and was accused of negligent manslaughter. The ruling was final.

Last year, the High Court found five people guilty in the case and imposed sentences ranging from 18 to 12 months in prison, with two years' probation. None of those cases were appealed.

(By Hsiao Po-wen and Elizabeth Hsu)