Father of drug overdose victim claims foul play

By Stephanie Chao, The China Post

The father of a woman who had a fatal drug overdose at a party last December came out to question the details of the investigation on Thursday, a day after suspects were indicted on drug charges. The press conference, hosted by Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers, came after internet celebrity Andy Chu and five others were indicted Wednesday on drug charges after their party at a luxury hotel in Taipei resulted in the death of a 21-year-old woman surnamed Kuo. They heaped criticism on the W Hotel for failing to accept responsibility in the case. Kuo’s father, who attended the press conference in a baseball cap and sunglasses, was visibly emotional when reporters asked questions about the case. He said, “Such a regretful situation has already occurred … (I) hope this case will serve as a warning to the society, and I also hope the government would take seriously of the drug abuse problem.” The woman’s father said that despite the conclusions of an investigation, he still believed she had been sexually assaulted. He said he believed his daughter was awake when the suspects force-fed her a cocktail of eight different kinds of narcotics. Case investigators concluded in a report released Wednesday that Kuo had not been sexually assaulted, but her father said he continued to believe otherwise. Kuo’s father said that autopsy examinations showed severe bruising on her thighs. He said he “strongly suspected” that something had been done to his daughter and that she had been sexually assaulted.

Investigators had concluded that the swollen red bruising near Kuo’s genitals had been the symptom of a disease. When asked about his feelings regarding the sentencing of the suspects, he said “even if they were given 120 years, that would never return my daughter to me.” The Taipei District Prosecutors Office is seeking 12 years for Chu for violating the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act in hosting the party, providing the drugs and later attempting to cover up the crime.

It is seeking sentences ranging from 10 to 11 years for the five other suspects, including the drug dealer. When asked whether Kuo’s family had asked for compensation from W Hotel, he said it would still require discussions with his lawyer. His tone took on angry note when prompted about Chu, saying that he would most definitely fight for compensation from him. Take Responsibility Lawmakers said W Hotel failed to alert authorities when it was notified of questionable circumstances and had later destroyed evidence at the crime scene.

“(The hotel) did not uphold their corporate responsibility,” Lawmakers said.

They accused hotel employees of cleaning the air of fumes from narcotic substances afterwards, essentially destroying the crime scene. A marathon drug party was held for five days straight at the W Hotel, lawmaker Liu Chao-hao pointed out. The hotel has a central air conditioning system and there could have been fumes going into the system, he said. “Even with a bit of common sense, anyone would feel suspicious that there were unlawful things going on in the room,” Liu said. Lawmaker Chuang Ruei-hsiung said that existing laws must be revised to have companies set up “anti-drug” signage and require the company to alert authorities once becoming aware of guests or consumers handling or using drugs.