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Taiwan’s military torturers

Chiang Kuo-ching, a Taiwanese air force officer, was executed in 1997 aged 21. He had confessed to the rape and murder of a little girl. Her body was found in a ditch near a toilet at the Air Force Combat Command in Taipei’s Da’an District on 12 September 1996.

But it was the wrong man. In fact he had been tortured and forced into a confession – another man was found guilty of the crime and Chiang was posthumously pardoned in 2011.

A military court awarded NT$103 million – roughly £2.6 million – in compensation to his mother in October 2011. The Ministry of Defence duly paid up, but the senior officers involved in the miscarriage of justice declined to compensate the Ministry of National Defence for the bill. They dug their heels in.

So the Ministry sued them for the cash – and Taiwan’s Supreme Court has just ruled that they must pay up and no appeals are allowed. Former Defence Minister Chen Chao-min and four other defendants will have to pay a total of NT$59.57 million to the Ministry of National Defence (MND) in compensation for the wrongful execution of an innocent murder suspect.