Commander apologises over death of corporal

Corporal Hung Chung-chiu died of heat exhaustion on July 4 after performing a series of exercises in extremely hot weather conditions. A witness says Hung was the victim of a personal vendetta after he expressed views different to those of his superiors.

TAIPEI - Republic of China Army Commander Lee Shying-jow yesterday apologised to the nation over the death of Corporal Hung Chung-chiu, saying that he assumes full responsibility and that the military will get to the bottom of the case.

The commander made the comments at a press conference held last night.

Earlier yesterday military prosecutors summoned a number of active and former military personnel over the disciplinary confinement and resulting death of Hung.

The prosecutors questioned Master Sergeant Chen Yi-jen, career non-commissioned Army officer Fan Tso-hsien, Army Major Hsu Hsin-cheng and ex-medical officer Lu Meng-ying.

All of them are currently serving or have served in the 542nd Armored Brigade, which is located in Hsinchu County, where Hung served before his death earlier this month.

Chen, Fan and Hsu are reportedly facing charges for abusing their power by sending Hung into disciplinary confinement, which led to Hung's death. Lu could face charges for failing to give appropriate medical treatment to Hung, who died of heatstroke on July 4.

Military prosecutors also summoned Liu Hsuan-yang, a former fellow Army conscript who served with Hung in the 542nd Armored Brigade, as a witness to clear up the allegations centering on Hung's death.

Hung a Victim of a Personal Vendetta: Witness

Liu told prosecutors that Hung was the victim of a personal vendetta.

According to Liu, Hung was sent to confinement at a Taoyuan base on June 28 because during a forum on June 26 he expressed views different to those of his superiors, Chen and Fan, and had on several occasions voiced opposition to their treatment of Hung's fellow soldiers.

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