Monday, May 26, 2014

Appellate hearing and administrative sanctions in the Hung Chung-chiu case

The Taipei Times has this story about the appeal (it sounds like a de novo trial) in the Taiwan High Court in the criminal case that grew out of the exhaustion death of corporal Hung Chung-chiu while in disciplinary detention. Earlier post here. His 2013 death led directly to enactment of legislation ending peacetime courts-martial.
“None of the defendants confessed to the charges, and not one has negotiated a settlement with the Hung family, meaning they have shown no remorse,” Taiwan High Court Prosecutor Hsu Yung-chin told the court.
Hsu added that the evidence shows that the defendants “abused and tortured a serviceman for fun.”
The 24-year-old Hung collapsed from heatstroke after participating in punishment exercises on July 3 last year and died in hospital a day later, just three days before he was due to be discharged from compulsory military service.
Three of the officers responsible for corporal Hung's death were recently impeached by the Control Yuan, according to Want China Times:
The three officers were then turned over to the Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission under the Judicial Yuan to determine their punishment.
The impeachment condemned the three officers for "inflicting serious damage on the reputation of the military" and said they were at "major fault" in the Hung case.
Shen [Wei-chih] and Ho [Chiang-chung] were the commander and deputy commander of the 542nd Armor Brigade that sent Hung to a detention center for bringing a camera-equipped smartphone onto his army base. Yang headed the 269th Brigade that was responsible for the detention center where Hung died.
Control Yuan member Huang Wu-tzu said a soldier guilty of Hung's offense should only have received an administrative reprimand rather than being sent to the brig. Furthermore, a decision to send a soldier to the brig should have been made after two disciplinary meetings were called, but in Hung's case, only one meeting was held, Huang said, calling the officers' behavior in bypassing standard procedure "unimaginable."

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