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Prosecutors question subway attacker about family, problems

TAIPEI -- New Taipei prosecutors yesterday interrogated Cheng Chieh (鄭捷), the 21-year-old attacker in Taiwan's first deadly subway knife attack on May 21.

Prosecutors questioned Cheng about his interactions with his family and whether he has ever encountered setbacks during the course of his schooling, in an attempt to gain an understanding of his psychological condition.

During the session, Cheng reiterated that he had a motive for the killings since he was in elementary school and said that he did not want to see his parents for the moment. He did not respond to questions about setbacks with his family.

The prosecutors asked a number of questions in an attempt to gain an understanding of his motives, but Cheng's account differed little from his earlier statements of “plans for doing something big,” plans he had apparently harbored since he was in elementary school. He said he particularly wanted to kill those he hates.

The detention center said that since Cheng was taken into custody May 22, his daily routine has been normal and his mood has not changed. He has made no specific requests to the center and his parents have not visited him.

Wielding two knives, Cheng killed four people and injured 24 others on a metro train in Taipei May 21.

As part of the investigation into the case, prosecutors have already questioned some of the injured and witnesses in the case over the past few days and do not rule out the possibility of questioning his parents to better understand his background.

Prosecutors on Thursday also consulted with National Taiwan University Hospital as to whether a pyschological evaluation should be conducted on Cheng.

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