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Councilor to appeal four-month jail term for pushing Chinese official

Councilor to appeal four-month jail term for pushing Chinese official

Taipei, Oct. 28 (CNA) A Tainan city councilor said Wednesday that he will appeal a court' s decision to sentence him to four months in prison after convicting him of harassing a visiting Chinese official in an incident that erupted in the city last year and was widely watched on television in Taiwan.
"I have decided to appeal against the sentence handed down to me by the Tainan District Court, because I did not tussle Zhang Mingqing to the ground," Wang Ding-yu told reporters.
The Tainan District Court announced its verdict against Wang on Sept. 21 this year.
When the incident occurred on Oct. 21, 2008, Zhang, vice president of the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) , was visiting Taiwan to attend an academic seminar in southern Taiwan's Tainan City in his private capacity as a scholar.
Wang was accused of pushing Zhang to the ground in a protest against Zhang when he was on a private tour of the city's Confucius Temple that day. Zhang led a group of pro-Taiwan independence protesters who accosted Zhang.
Zhang, who suffered minor bruises and injuries, was rushed to a Tainan hospital. He filed a compliant with the local police authorities and immediately returned to China next day, cutting short his visit in Taiwan.
Wang has insisted he did not push Zhang and that Zhang simply lost his balance.
Six other accomplices were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 40 days to four months after being indicted on charges of hindering personal freedom, but all of the six have the option of paying a fine instead of serving their prison terms.
According to Wang, he has been soliciting cash donations for his six companions and he will use the money to help them pay the fines so they will not have to serve their prison sentences.
The incident happened as Taiwan, under the government of President Ma Ying-jeou, was actively trying to improve relations with China.
Zhang's visit preceded that of Chen Yunlin, the highest ranking Chinese envoy to visit Taiwan in years and the head of ARATS.
Partly as a result of the incident involving Zhang, Taiwanese authorities stepped up security measures during Chen's visit.
(By Flor Wang)




Updated : 2020-12-01 02:28 GMT+08:00