Life term for man who shot, wounded son of ex-Taiwanese vice-president
Earlier verdict overturned for gunman who wounded son of ex-Taiwanese vice-president
A gunman who shot and wounded the son of former Taiwanese vice-president Lien Chan two years ago was yesterday sentenced to life in prison.
The Taiwan High Court overturned the verdict a district court reached on Lin Cheng-wei in May and the 24-year jail sentence it imposed. But it stopped short of saying if the incident was politically motivated as Lien's son, Sean Lien Sheng-wen, had insisted. Lin claimed he mistook Sean Lien for county councillor Chen Hung-yuan, who owed him money.
On the eve of local government elections on November 26, 2010, Lin went to Chen's re-election campaign rally in New Taipei city. He fired at Lien - who had been invited to stump for Chen - as Lien was speaking at the rally. The bullet went through Lien's face and killed a bystander, Huang Yun-sheng.
The incident reminded people of the mysterious election eve shooting of former president Chen Shui-bian during his campaign in 2004. Chen, slightly wounded in the stomach by a bullet, was re-elected for a second term - a result his contender Lien Chan claimed was due to sympathy votes.
Sean Lien recovered from his wounds but insisted he had been targeted, as he said he heard the assailant cursing him in his name while he struggled to prevent him firing another shot.
"If it was a mistake, why would he shout my name," a friend of Lien quoted him as saying.
At the district court trial, the judges found Lin guilty of attempted murder and negligent manslaughter. The high court upheld the attempted murder count but substituted the negligent manslaughter conviction with murder.
According to the high court, Lin harboured a real intention to kill, as shown by his attempt to fire another shot at Lien without any regard to the possibility of hurting others, even when he was overpowered by police.
It found Lin showed no remorse over the shooting and had failed to offer a face-to-face apology to Lien. Lien said that, despite the life sentence, the court failed to explain whether the incident was politically motivated.
Lien said the Investigation Bureau conducted a lie-detector test on Lin and this showed that Lin had lied about what he told the judges. "Why didn't the high court accept the lie-detector result as evidence?" he said.
The court did not respond to Lien's comment.
Lin is expected to appeal.