Latest charges ‘unacceptable’: Hung family

By Joseph Yeh, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Military prosecutors’ indictment of 18 personnel over the death of Army Corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘) is unacceptable, Hung’s family said yesterday. Representing the family, attorney Ku Li-hsiung (顧立雄) said that very few higher ranking officers that should be held accountable for Hung’s death were among those indicted.

Most of the defendants who prosecutors indicted yesterday were lower-ranking military personnel that were responsible for monitoring Hung’s confinement, Ku said, adding that the outcome was unacceptable for Hung’s family. The superiors of the military personnel responsible for monitoring Hung’s confinement committed serious lapses in supervising their subordinates.

However, these higher-ranking personnel, who had approved Hung’s confinement in the first place, were not indicted by military prosecutors, Ku said, adding that the prosecutors’ decision is unfair to lower-ranking military personnel. Military prosecutors also failed to clear the allegations raised by Hung’s family regarding their son’s death, he added. Ku specifically pointed out that prosecutors failed to clarify whether Hung’s superiors at the 542nd Brigade had pressured the 269th Brigade, where Hung served his disciplinary confinement, into forcing Hung to conduct a series of physical exercise in hot weather that ultimately led to his death. Ku made the remarks when asked to comment on the indictment handed out by military prosecutors earlier yesterday. Military prosecutors yesterday indicted 18 military personnel, including the former commander of Hung’s 542nd Brigade and four of his superiors. Most of the personnel indicted were servicemen who were serving at the confinement facility at the 269th Brigade during Hung’s confinement, including Sergeant Chen Yi-hsun (陳毅勳). Chen was charged with abusing Hung during the corporal’s confinement, ultimately leading to his death. He is facing a maximum of life imprisonment, according to the indictment. Military Smear Campaign

Meanwhile, Hung’s family voiced dissatisfaction over the military prosecutors’ indictments, which said Hung did not get along with his superiors, with the latter sending him to the brig out of a personal vendetta. Military prosecutors said Hung’s superiors were angry at Hung because the corporal had refused to perform his duties as he was about to discharged from the Army.

Hung’s superiors therefore decided to teach Hung a lesson, and Hung being found in possession of a cellphone capable of taking photographs gave them the opportunity to settle their grudge by throwing him into disciplinary confinement, the indictment said. Hung’s uncle and mother said yesterday that military prosecutors’ accusations toward Hung were part of a smear campaign the military launched against the Hung’s family.