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MND won't appeal airman execution ruling

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday confirmed that it would not appeal a verdict in which it asked six former Air Force officers, including a former defense minister, to make restitution over the wrongful conviction and execution of an airman in 1997.

In a released statement, the MND said it decided not to appeal the case because it already won the case on May 29, despite the fact that the ruling and subsequent demands for monetary restitution were deemed insufficient by some observers.

On that day, the Taipei District Court ruled that former Defense Minister Chen Chao-min (陳肇敏) and five others must each pay NT$14.74 million to the MND over the wrongful accusation of airman Chiang Kuo-ching (江國慶) in 1997.

However, the MND stressed that if the defendants ultimately decide to appeal the case, the military will continue legal actions.

The MND's comments came after a local newspaper yesterday criticized the military's decision not to appeal the case.

According to the newspaper, the MND should appeal the case to the High Court because the district court only ruled that the six defendants have to pay a total of NT$88 million, which is not enough to cover the NT$103.18 million compensation the military gave to Chiang's family over the wrongful execution.

The poor legal strategy means taxpayers have to cover for the NT$20 million gap, the newspaper said, adding that the MND should immediately appeal the case and ask for more monetary compensation.

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