TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan High Court on Wednesday (Jan. 13) upheld the life sentence of an Israeli-American citizen convicted for the gruesome murder of a Canadian resident over a dispute related to drug dealing.
Appeals are still possible against the sentence of Oren Shlomo Mayer and against shorter sentences for three other suspects that were also upheld, CNA reported.
Mayer suspected in August 2018 that the Canadian, Sanjay Ryan Ramgahan, had betrayed their illicit operations to the police. He called him to a riverside park in the New Taipei City's Yonghe District, where he killed and dismembered him. He then threw his remains into the river with the help of another American, Ewart Odane Bent, who was sentenced to 12 years and six months in jail.
American Jason Eugene Hobbie was sentenced to 18 months and Taiwanese-Canadian Wu Hsuan (吳宣) to six for aiding and abetting the murder. They reportedly set off fireworks on the opposite side of the river as a distraction.
In court Wednesday, Mayer argued that as he was still involved in a custody battle for his son, and that he should not be expelled from Taiwan in the event his jail sentence ended. Mayer had been apprehended in the Philippines after Ramgahan’s death, but his attorney claimed Wednesday that he had been looking for a lawyer and had planned to return to Taiwan.
The court explained the difference in the prison terms for Mayer and Bent by saying that the latter, despite initial denials, had later cooperated with the authorities and explained what had happened near the river.