Taiwan High Court sentences man to 17 years for railway police killing

Court overturns previous not-guilty verdict, but appeals still possible

Crime scene where attack happened. 

Crime scene where attack happened.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan High Court overturned a not-guilty verdict for the suspect accused of killing a railway police officer on a train at Chiayi Station and sentenced him to 17 years in prison Wednesday (Feb. 24).

In July 2019, a man named Cheng (鄭) stabbed Officer Lee Cheng-han (李承翰), 24, to death over a dispute about ticketing. The Chiayi District Court, in a verdict in April 2020, found him not guilty because of diminished responsibility due to schizophrenia.

However, on Wednesday, the Tainan branch of the Taiwan High Court ruled that Cheng had not lost all control over his actions and should therefore be held accountable, CNA reported. Appeals were still possible against the verdict, which also includes a five-year observation period following the end of the jail term.

Medical reports from experts ruled that if Cheng was released into society without a therapeutic program, there was a high likelihood that he could lose control over his actions again.

Lee’s mother told reporters she could barely accept the verdict. She said she had been unable to sleep comfortably the night before the court session, and she had prayed for a just outcome.

Updated : 2021-04-19 07:02 GMT+08:00