Woman faces possible prison time for Lee photo vandalism

08/14/2020 08:49 PM
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Cheng Hui-chung (center, in helmet). CNA photo Aug. 14, 2020
Cheng Hui-chung (center, in helmet). CNA photo Aug. 14, 2020

Taipei, Aug. 14 (CNA) A women who vandalized a photograph of former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) at a public memorial at Taipei Guest House on Friday could receive up to five years in jail for violating the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, police said that day.

As Taipei Guest House is a designated national monument, anyone who vandalizes the historical building or its affiliated facilities could face a sentence of six months to five years, coupled with a fine of NT$500,000 (US$16,890) to NT$20 million in compliance with the law, police said.

Cheng Hui-chung (鄭惠中), allegedly hurled a balloon containing red ink at Lee's photograph during a public memorial service at Taipei Guest House in honor of the late president who died on July 30. She was immediately taken into custody by police.

Cheng has since been turned over to the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office, which is investigating the incident.

It is understood the 68-year-old Cheng might have vandalized the photograph because of her discontent with Lee's politics.

In January last year, Cheng was detained and investigated for slapping then Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) at a banquet for veteran entertainers.

She was charged with obstructing government administration, but the charges were dropped by prosecutors in July 2019 because the offense was considered minor and the banquet was a private event. As such, the minister was attending in a private capacity and not as part of her ministerial duties.

For her part, the culture minister did not sue Cheng for public insult or injury.

Meanwhile, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed regret over the incident, and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party condemned Cheng's act as irrational and violent.

(By Flor Wang and Wen Kuei-hsiang)

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