Taiwan High Court scraps bail decision in police killing

Court sends case back to Chiayi District Court following wave of public indignation

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National police chief Chen Chia-chi (second from left) visiting the Railway Police on April 30 

National police chief Chen Chia-chi (second from left) visiting the Railway Police on April 30  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following a wave of public indignation, the High Court in Tainan on Friday (May 1) scrapped the decision to leave the suspect in the killing of a railway police officer free on bail and returned the case to the Chiayi District Court.

Last July, a passenger on a train stabbed the officer, Lee Cheng-han (李承翰), to death amid a dispute over ticketing. The Chiayi court on Thursday (April 30) found the suspect, surnamed Cheng (鄭), not guilty as he had been suffering from schizophrenia. Bail was later set at NT$500,000 (US$16,750), infuriating senior police officers and public opinion even further, CNA reported.

While prominent government officials vowed to lodge appeals against the verdict, the Chiayi District Prosecutors Office filed a motion against the bail decision. As a result, a three-judge panel at the High Court decided Friday to scrap bail and send the case back to the Chiayi District Court for a new investigation, according to the CNA report.