Gunman mistook Lien's son for target in revenge shooting, court told

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 January, 2011, 12:00am

Taiwanese prosecutors have brought murder and other charges against a man accused of shooting the son of Kuomintang honorary chairman Lien Chan during an election rally in November.

But they ruled out political motives for the shooting, saying the gunman had mistaken Sean Lien Sheng-wen for another man he wanted dead because of a financial dispute.

'We are seeking the death sentence against the defendant, Lin Cheng-wei, on charges of murder, attempted murder, illegal possession of firearms and bullets,' said Chen Cheng-feng, a spokeswoman for the prosecutors' office.

Sean Lien was shot while campaigning for Xinbei city council candidate Chen Hung-yuan at a rally on November 26, the eve of the island's municipal elections. The gunman jumped onto the stage as Lien made a speech and shot him at close range. The bullet entered Lien's left cheek and exited near his right temple to hit and kill a bystander. Lien survived after emergency treatment.

The gunman, who was overpowered before he could fire again, later insisted that he shot Lien by mistake.

The spokeswoman said the gunman was involved in a financial dispute with the candidate's father and wanted to kill the son in revenge. But he did not know the candidate in person and mistook Lien to be him.

'Seeing that Lien was moving to the centre of the stage, the defendant immediately jumped on to the stage and shot him at close range,' the spokeswoman said.

Lien's family, however, said the misidentification reason given by the prosecutors was 'unacceptable'.

His lawyer said it was most unlikely that the gunman would not find out what the candidate looked like while planning the shooting. In addition, the candidate was well known and looked very different from Lien.




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