Life sentence for Taiwan election-eve shooter

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 October, 2012, 5:38pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 October, 2012, 5:38pm

A Taiwanese court on Wednesday sentenced a man to life in prison for shooting at a rally on the eve of key local elections in 2010, which left one man dead and wounded the son of a top politician.

Lin Cheng-wei was convicted of murder by the high court, which increased his punishment from the 24-year jail term imposed by a lower court that had found him guilty of attempted murder and manslaughter. He can appeal the ruling.

Lin was arrested after he fired at Sean Lien, son of former vice president Lien Chan at a 2010 campaign rally near Taipei of the ruling Kuomintang party (KMT).

He had intended to kill a KMT candidate with whom he had a personal dispute, but accidentally shot Lien who was standing at the centre of the stage, police said.

The incident came just hours before Taiwanese voters went to the polls in key local elections.

Lien was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery and was discharged ten days later but a man in the crowd died on the spot.

The incident revived painful memories of another election-eve shooting in 2004, when then president Chen Shui-bian and his deputy Annette Lu were shot while campaigning for re-election.

Critics alleged that the shooting was staged to win sympathy for Chen, who eventually won by a razor-thin margin in a disputed election that plunged the island into political turmoil for months.



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