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September 24, 2017

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TDPO releases Kai Ko without bail after questioning

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwanese actor Kai Ko (柯震東), who was recently held in a detention center in Beijing for 14 days for marijuana use, yesterday was released without bail after a two-hour questioning session at the Taipei District Prosecutors Office (TDPO).

On Aug. 14, Ko was arrested in Beijing along with Hong Kong actor Jaycee Chan (房祖名) — son of internationally renowned kung fu star Jackie Chan — for alleged use of marijuana. Ko was released by Chinese police on Aug. 29 and held two press conferences to issue his public apology in Beijing and Taipei respectively.

The TDPO later told reporters that during the two-hour questioning, prosecutors collected the 23-year-old actor's hair and urine samples for a drug test with his consent. Prosecutors also said that the hair sample will be sent to the Investigation Bureau for a hair follicle drug test and the urine sample will be delivered to the Taipei City Criminal Investigation Division for a drug test.

TDPO spokesman Huang Mou-hsin (黃謀信) said prosecutor Deng Ding-chiang (鄧定強), who is in charge of Ko's case, has not yet received relevant evidence from the Chinese authorities. In order to preserve evidence and investigate whether Ko has been using other kinds of drugs, the prosecutor decided to collect samples for a drug test, Huang said.

A senior prosecutor was quoted by the Central News Agency, saying that if Ko's drug test results show that he only used marijuana, the prosecutors will recommend that he undergoes observation and rehabilitation for at least 40 days. The 23-year-old may also register for a self-funded rehabilitation program in exchange for deferred prosecution, a prosecutor said.

A source in the TDPO said that if Ko's drug test results show that he has used marijuana and has a history of drug use, then prosecutors will recommend that the court demand that Ko undergo observation and rehabilitation for about 50 days. Ko will be discharged from the rehab center once he shows no desire to use drugs again, the source said, adding that afterward Ko will not be prosecuted by the TDPO. If Ko does not have a history of drug use, prosecutors may suggest that he undergo rehabilitation and then defer his prosecution, the source said.

The 23-year-old did not respond to any of the questions from reporters upon his arrival at or departure from the TDPO building amid a strong media presence.

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