Thursday, April 12, 2012

The military to ask Chen for compensation

Sixteen years ago an airman named Jiang Guo-qing was wrongly charged and executed for raping and murdering a little girl. It was until two years ago that the real murder was apprehended and Jiang’s name restored. Jiang’s mother was given a compensation of NT$100 million for the loss of her son.

According to the newly revised Criminal Compensation Act, the government is entitled to ask retired officials to pay for the damage caused when they were holding the office. The Review Board of the Northern District Military Court of Ministry of Defense formally demanded that eight officers involved in this case pay for the damage inflicted by them totaled NT$91.24 million.

Among the eight, only one former security officer surnamed Deng had showed remorse and willed to pay, so the Review Board set his share of NT$2.8 million and he had already paid. Each of the rest was asked to pay NT$14.74 million. Another officer surnamed Lee had died, but the Review Board asked his two children who inherited his property to pay instead. The rest six officers including retired General Chen Jao-min insisted that they did nothing wrong and refused to comply.

In my post of May 25, 2011, I stressed that Chen and his fellow officers must be pronounced "dishonorable discharge" administratively if possible because what they had done indeed disgraced the military. In this case, Chen no doubt should take full responsibility for Jiang’s death. Chen was the commander of Air Force Operations Command, the unit which Jiang served. It was he who ordered air force’s counter-intelligence team in to use any means possible including torture to force Jiang to confess. His eagerness to crack the case and disregard the decency of human life finally got Jiang executed. Chen was later promoted Air Force Commander. After his retirement from Air Force, he became minister of defense from 2008 to 2009. Though billions of dollars of compensation won’t get Jiang back to live, Chen may retain his honor as a soldier if he feels truly sorry for what he has done.

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