The captain of a fishing boat was killed last Friday when a junior officer on a Navy corvette fired off a Hsiung Feng III missile into the Taiwan Strait.
The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office sent agents to search the home of Kao Chia-chun, the man who allegedly fired the missile, in Taipei and of his immediate supervisor Chen Ming-hsiu in Kaohsiung, and to investigate their social networks, reports said Tuesday. Their hair was also tested for traces of illegal drugs and their cell phones were looked at.
As a result, the prosecutors had reached the conclusion that the firing of the supersonic missile had not been a deliberate action, reports said Tuesday. After the mishap last week, some commentators had ventured the opinions that the officers were trying to make President Tsai Ing-wen look bad during her overseas tour to Latin America, or had been trying to provide China with information about the sensitive locally made missile.
Prosecutors reportedly found that rumors about Kao’s computer game addiction were wrong. The Navy officer, who had been serving at the missile unit for three years leading up to last week’s incident, spent most of his free time at home and led an unremarkable life. He also had not had a girlfriend for two years, investigators said, emphasizing that nothing in his social connections indicated he might fire off a missile on purpose.
Prosecutors said they had finished investigating the Hsiang Li Sheng, the fishing trawler which was hit by the missile, killing its captain and injuring three crew members, including the captain’s son, a Vietnamese and a Filipino citizen.
The fate of the vessel, which was towed into port, would have to be decided in talks between the Navy and the dead captain’s relatives, reports said.