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Life in jail for shooter of son Taiwan ex-Vice President
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-01-24 05:47 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Supreme Court on Thursday confirmed a life sentence for Lin Cheng-wei, the man accused of shooting Sean Lien, the son of former Vice President Lien Chan, and of killing a bystander.

At an election rally in New Taipei City on November 26, 2010, Lin approached Lien, who was on stage to support a ruling Kuomintang candidate for the city council, and shot him through the face. The bullet hit another man, Huang Yun-sheng, a disabled 29-year-old who had been attending the rally, and killed him.

On May 11, the Panchiao District Court sentenced Lin to 24 years in prison and to a fine of NT$200,000 (US$6,800). Last October 24, the Taiwan High Court extended the sentence to life in prison.

The Supreme Court reportedly accepted that Lin had wanted to harm the local candidate Chen Hung-yuan instead of Lien, but it found him guilty of killing Huang. Lin was reportedly involved in a land dispute with Chen’s father.

There was no evidence that Lin knew beforehand Lien would appear at the rally, the Supreme Court argued, while also rejecting claims by Lien’s family that the shooter should have recognized him from close by.

The court said that even though it was possible to argue that during the tussle, Lin was standing so close that in theory he should have recognized Lien, the attacker had by then been so worked up about hitting the man he saw at the center of the stage and he assumed to be Chen.

The bullet Lin fired went straight through Lien’s head, injuring him but allowing him to recuperate soon afterward. The incident gave rise to conspiracy theories about a plot to win sympathy votes for the KMT, which won three of the five mayoral seats at stake in the election the following day.

Lien stayed away from political events for some time after the shooting and kept a low profile. Over the past months though, he has often been named as a potential candidate for mayor of Taipei when the incumbent, Hau Lung-bin, finishes his second and final term in December 2014.

Lien has been involved in verbal sparring with President Ma Ying-jeou, who is believed to favor Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah as the next mayor of the capital.

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