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June 25, 2017

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Chen Wei-ting handed fine of NT$10,000 over shoe-throwing incident

The Miaoli Distirct Court yesterday ruled that student activist Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) must pay a fine of NT$10,000 for throwing a shoe that hit Miaoli Magistrate Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻) over the controversial Dapu demolitions in 2013.

Chen, Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) and five other student activists were indicted by prosecutors for alleged public insult and allegedly violating the Assembly and Parade Act over a series of protests that were related to the Dapu land expropriations last year.

The court yesterday morning released its ruling, saying that apart from Chen, the rest of the six suspects were not guilty. As for Chen, the court said he is sentenced to pay the fine for the charge of public insult.

Chang Sen-wen (張森文), one of the owners of the four demolished households in the village, was found dead under Dapu Bridge on the afternoon of Sept. 18.

Later that night Liu went to the late Chang's residence to offer his condolences to his family. At the time, Chen was at the residence and scolded Liu and threw a shoe at the magistrate which hit him in the head.

The court explained the ruling, saying that to throw a shoe, especially a dirty shoe, at a person will harm the person's self-esteem. The court said such behavior is an inappropriate approach to express one's opinions. The court, at the same time, ruled that Chen's shoe should be confiscated.

After hearing of the ruling in Miaoli, Chen told a press interview that he will file an appeal against the ruling. He said he will also request to have his shoe back. Chen's lawyer echoed Chen's remark, saying that they will fight for Chen's innocence.

The Miaoli County Government said once it receives the official ruling from the court, it will consult and discuss the issue with legal exerts, and then decide whether or not to appeal against the ruling.

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