319 gunsmith caught in China: reports
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The alleged gunsmith behind the weapon used in the 319 shooting incident has been caught in southern China, local reports claimed yesterday.
January 17, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
Media claimed that local authorities are aware of the situation but cannot yet confirm it.
The Special Investigation Division (SID) said the are aware of the latest intelligence regarding Tang Shou-yi (唐守義), who is wanted for his alleged role in modifying the gun used in one of Taiwan's most controversial assassination attempts. The SID, however, said they cannot comment on ongoing investigations due to a tacit understanding with China's judicial system.
Tang sent a DVD from Macau to Taiwan's media after he was released on bail and fled to China in 2006. In the video, Tang claimed that he gave false testimony on the 319 shooting — in-line with prosecutors' demands — that former President Chen Shui-bian's bullet wounds were not caused by the guns he modified.
He also said in the video that the suspect, Chen Yi-hsiung (陳義雄), was not close enough to the then-president to be reasonably suspected of being the shooter. Tang said that both he and Chen Yi-hsiung were scapegoats.
If extradited from China, Tang will be transferred to Tainan, where he is wanted by the Tainan District Prosecutors Office, according to a senior judicial officer. The SID reopened its probe into the 319 shooting incident in 2008, and will possibly send prosecutors to Tainan to work with the prosecutors there to clear up any remaining questions about the disc, the officer added.
The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said it has not received an official arrest report from China yet, but that they have started negotiating with Chinese police authorities regarding Tang's extradition. The CIB hopes to extradite Tang back to Taiwan before the Chinese New Year.
SID spokesman Chen Hung-da (陳宏達) said the department has contacted Chinese law enforcement, assisted its investigation, and will send officials to accompany Tang's if he is returned to Taiwan.
On March 19, 2004, the day before the 11th presidential election, then-President Chen Shui-bian, running for re-election as the Democratic Progressive Party candidate, was shot during a campaign rally in Tainan.
Even nearly a decade later, the case still arouses widespread skepticism and questions among the public and political parties.