Election-eve shooter punished with life sentence
October 25, 2012, 12:10 am TWN
TAIPEI -- The gunman who shot Kuomintang politician Sean Lien (連勝文) and also killed an innocent bystander on the eve of local elections in 2010 was sentenced to life in prison by the Taiwan High Court yesterday.
The High Court overruled a verdict handed down by a district court in May in which Lin Cheng-wei (林正偉) was sentenced to 24 years in jail for multiple offenses.
Lin fired a shot that went through Lien's face and killed bystander Huang Yun-sheng (黃運聖) during a campaign rally for New Taipei Council candidate Chen Hung-yuan (陳鴻源) on Nov. 26, 2010, the night before mayoral and councilor elections were held in Taiwan's five special municipalities.
Lien, a son of KMT Honorary Chairman Lien Chan (連戰), later recovered from his wounds.
The lower court found Lin guilty of attempting to murder Lien and of negligent manslaughter in Huang's death.
While the High Court upheld the attempted murder conviction related to the shooting of Lien, it changed the negligent manslaughter conviction involving the bystander to murder after determining that Lin had the "eventual intent" to kill.
According to the latest verdict, Lin was wrestling with Lien before pulling the trigger but still insisted on firing his gun at the dodging Lien without any regard for the possibility of hurting other people.
Even after Lin was restrained, he still attempted to get off another shot, the court said.
Lin has claimed that his target was Chen but that he shot Lien after mistaking him for Chen.
Lien, however, believes he was the real target of the shooting because, according to his version of events, Lin called his name and cursed at him before firing the shot.
Lien's lawyer, Liu Tzung-hsin, welcomed the High Court's ruling Wednesday but said further investigation was still needed to find out the source of the gun, whether there were any accomplices in the case, and what the real motive behind the shooting was.
It will be "impossible" for Lien to reach an out-of-court settlement with Lin unless he tells the truth, Liu said.
Lin's lawyer, Chen Chen-wei, meanwhile, described the High Court's ruling as "unreasonable" and said his client will appeal it.