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Prison warden, officials disciplined over hostage crisis
【Society】2015-02-26  23:32:55
Taipei, Feb. 26 (CNA) Chen Shih-chih (陳世志), the warden of Kaohsiung Prison who was held hostage by six prisoners early this month, was reprimanded and removed from his post on Thursday.

Chen, as well as the prison's Deputy Warden Lai Chen-jung (賴振榮), who was held hostage, and head guard Wang Shih-tsang (王世倉) each were given a serious demerit while chief of Taiwan's Agency of Corrections Wu Hsien-chang (吳憲璋) was punished by a demerit, according to an announcement of the Ministry of Justice.

The hostage crisis began on Feb. 11 when six inmates in the Kaoshiung Prison overtook guards and broke into the prison's weapons cache, stealing four rifles and two handguns which they used to hold prison guards hostage in a breakout attempt.

Chen and Lai offered themselves as hostages to swap with the guards in ensuing negotiations with the prisoners.

Wu rushed to the prison after the incident and engaged in negotiations with the hostage takers.

The crisis ended early Feb. 12 when the prisoners committed suicide after police surrounded the compound and refused their demands for a getaway car and for them to be allowed to see their family members.

Chen and Lai were unharmed and once lauded afterward for their heroic acts in the crisis.

The Ministry of Justice, however, said in a report Thursday that the prison's security lapse and the mishandling of the case by Chen and Wu combined allowed what had not been a uncontrollable case to develop into a serious crisis which could have led to a disaster.

As to whether Chen and Wu would face possible legal responsibility in the case, it is under the investigation of prosecutors from the Kaohsiung Prosecutors Office, said the ministry.

(By Tsai Pei-chi and Maubo Chang)
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