Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Continuing aftershocks of military justice reform in Taiwan

In the aftermath of Taiwan's accelerated military justice reform legislation, 18 military officials were prosecuted in civilian court in connection with Cpl. Hung Chung-chiu's July 4, 2013 death, the event that precipitated the reforms. Now the prosecutors have appealed the Taoyuan District Court's 230-page verdict on several grounds, including excessive leniency. According to Want China Times,
The prosecutors argued that the court handling the case turned to forensic experts and a military hospital for their diagnosis of Hung's death, rather than having the Ministry of Justice's Institute of Forensic Medicine or an independent medical affairs review committee look at the case, as public prosecutors had requested.
As a result, they were not convinced by the court's finding that Hung's death was caused by "unintentional acts," the prosecutors said.
Thirteen of the defendants were convicted.
They were given sentences ranging from three to eight months in jail, but at least some of those convicted would probably not have had to serve time because the court allowed them to pay a fine of NT$1,000 (US$30) per day of their sentences instead of going to jail.

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