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Ruling in Hung Chung-chiu case set for March 7
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-01-15 10:27 AM
Oral arguments concluded Tuesday in Taoyuan District Court in the trial of 11 defendants from the 269th Brigade in the death of corporal Hung Chung-chiu in July last year. While the NCO in charge of the group, Chen Yi-hsun, maintained that he and Hung had "no complaints in the past and no recent grudges" and that no abuse of Hung had taken place, the remaining ten defendants admitted negligence and bowed and apologized to the judge, asking to be acquitted of the charges. The judge set the date for a ruling in the case on March 7.

Hung’s mother said afterward that the eight soldiers from the detention room where Hung had been held before his death finally have expressed remorse, "I do not blame these kids," she added, saying she wanted to forgive them but could not do so until they apologized.

Testimony and cross-examination of former brigade deputy commander Ho Chiang-chung and other defendants charged with depriving Hung of freedom were set for Wednesday. A ruling in the second part of the trials is also tentatively set for March 7.

The eleven detention room team members including commander Hsiao Chih-ming were charged with abusing and torturing Hung and negligence in subsequent treatment after the conscript collapsed from exhaustion. Chen Yi-hsun insisted throughout the trial that there was no abuse and Hung was only ordered to perform routine exercises, claiming his death had nothing to do with the drills.

The other ten defendants including Hsiao Chih-ming, and Sung Hao-chun testified that they were merely performing their duties and did not foresee that Hung would suffer heatstroke. They said they had asked brigade command to improve conditions in the detention room area in hot weather but the request had not been acted on, and appealed to the court to dismiss the case.

Hung Chung-chiu’s sister Hung Tsu-yung said the actions of the group represented the military mindset and said that while she can sympathize with the defendants, they must recognize and reflect on the errors that led to her brother’s death. The Hung family lawyer added that "people must have compassion," and if the defendants are good people, they will have the courage to admit their mistakes.”

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