Taiwan compensates trio after 11 years on death row


Taiwan will pay a total of Tw$15 million compensation to three men who spent more than 11 years on death row before their acquittal in one of the island’s most controversial murder trials, a court said Wednesday.

Su Chien-ho (C), Chuang Lin-hsun (2R) and Liu Bin-lang (2L) outside a court room in Taipei on November 12, 2010 after they were acquitted in the murder of a couple in 1991. (AFP/PATRICK LIN)

TAIPEI: Taiwan will pay a total of Tw$15 million compensation to three men who spent more than 11 years on death row before their acquittal in one of the island’s most controversial murder trials, a court said Wednesday.

Su Chien-ho, Liu Bin-lang and Chuang Lin-hsun will each receive about Tw$5 million for wrongful imprisonment, the High Court said.

The trio, who said they were tortured into making confessions, were first sentenced to death 21 years ago for the murder of a couple in Taipei.

Their legal plight began after a soldier who confessed in 1991 to killing the couple claimed that they were his accomplices. The soldier was executed the following year after a trial by a military tribunal.

They had since faced a series of trials and retrials that saw their death sentences being lifted and then reimposed until the High Court made a final ruling in their favour last year.

Taiwan’s human rights groups have seized on the case to call on the government to abolish capital punishment.

Like many Asian countries, Taiwan maintains the death penalty, reserving it for serious crimes including aggravated murder, kidnapping and robbery.

Last year, Taiwan executed six death row inmates, the largest number to be put to death in one day in recent years.

– AFP/gn

 

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