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Taiwan court sentences attackers of HK bookseller to 3 to 4 months in jail

Appeals are still possible, but no suspended sentences as Lam is unwilling to forgive his assailants: Court

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Lam Wing-kee displaying his T-shirt after the attack 

Lam Wing-kee displaying his T-shirt after the attack  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Three men who plotted and executed a paint attack against Hong Kong bookseller and democracy activist Lam Wing-kee (林榮基) received prison sentences ranging from three to four months on Wednesday (Nov. 18).

Appeals are still possible against the ruling by the Taipei District Court, which said it did not issue suspended sentences because Lam had been harmed mentally and physically by the attack and did not want to forgive his assailants.

The main suspect, Cheng Chi-lung (鄭啟龍), was reportedly dissatisfied with Lam’s dissemination of ideas through his Taiwan Causeway Bay bookstore. Through the internet, he collected personal information about Lam and pictures of the bookshop’s neighborhood in Taipei City, CNA reported.

Cheng recruited two brothers, Tseng Shih-cheng (曾士晟) and Tseng Shih-feng (曾士峰), and traveled with them to the area near the bookstore on April 21. As Lam sat down outside a coffee shop to take a drink, Tseng Shih-feng poured red paint from a bottle into a cup and flung it at the bookseller, while his brother took pictures of the attack with his cellphone.

The three suspects were arrested the following days in the Kaohsiung area. On Wednesday, the court found them guilty of harming Lam, damaging his clothes and backpack, and affecting his freedom of movement.

As the mastermind of the attack, Cheng was sentenced to four months in prison, while the two Tseng brothers received three months each, though all of the jail terms could be converted to fines, the court said.

Reacting to the sentences, Lam told CNA the punishment was too light, and the guilty could repeat their acts again and again. He compared the three to four months in jail to holidays, and predicted more attacks could happen.

In a separate incident in October, a man dumped chicken feces all over a Taipei restaurant operated by Hong Kong refugees. Several suspects were arrested, with the chief plotter believed to be a Chinese national.