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Former minister ordered to pay compensation over wrongful execution

2019/02/15 23:31:12

former Defense Minister Chen Chao-min (CNA file photo)

Taipei, Feb. 15 (CNA) Taiwan's Supreme Court ruled Friday that former Defense Minister Chen Chao-min (陳肇敏) and four other defendants will have to pay a total of NT$59.57 million (US$1.93 million) to the Ministry of National Defense (MND) in compensation for the wrongful execution of an innocent murder suspect.

The case involved Air Force officer Chiang Kuo-ching (江國慶), who was executed in 1997 at the age of 21, after a little girl was found raped and murdered at a military barrack. Her body was found in a ditch near a toilet at the Air Force Combat Command in Taipei's Da'an District on Sept. 12, 1996.

The crime shocked the nation, partly due to its brutality, but also because of where it took place.

The Airman was found guilty of the rape and homicide by a military court. He was executed soon after. However, later investigations revealed that he had been tortured and forced into a confession, while another man was found guilty.

After Chiang was posthumously vindicated in 2011, a military court awarded NT$103 million in compensation to his mother in October 2011.

Former Defense Minister Chen, who was chief of the Air Force Combat Command at the time of the conviction, and four others -- former Air Force legal department director Tsao Chia-sheng (曹嘉生), and former Air Force counterintelligence agents Ko Chung-ching (柯仲慶), Ho Tsu-yao (何祖耀) and Li Chih-jen (李植仁) -- were consequently ordered to pay the sum in the civil case over the wrongful conviction and execution of the airman in 1997.

But the former military officers refused to reimburse the ministry for the compensation paid to Chiang's family, which then led the MND to file a civil suit against them in April 2012.

Since then, the case was tried and appealed both at the Taipei District Court and the High Court until 2017.

On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled that Chen had to reimburse the government NT$14.74 million, while Tsao was ordered to pay NT$8.59 million, Ko NT$14.74 million, Ho NT$8.59 million, and Li NT$12.89 million.

The Supreme Court then declared the case closed with no appeals allowed.

(By Hsiao Po-wen and Ko Lin)
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