Former Kaohsiung Prison officials impeached over hostage crisis

2016/08/16 18:26:31 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
(CNA file photo)

(CNA file photo)

Taipei, Aug. 16 (CNA) The Control Yuan impeached three former chief officials at Kaohsiung Prison Tuesday for failing to do their duty in connection with a hostage crisis that occurred in the prison last year.

On the list were then-warden Chen Shih-chih (陳世志), then-deputy warden Lai Chen-jung (賴振榮) and then-head guard Wang Shih-tsang (王世倉).

The crisis began Feb. 11, 2015 when six prison inmates feigned illness and requested to be examined by a doctor.

After the six were brought to the prison's health unit, they overcame the guards and broke into the prison's weapons cache, stealing four rifles and two handguns that they used to hold prison guards hostage in a breakout attempt.

Chen and Wang were later also taken hostage by the prisoners.

The crisis ended early Feb. 12 when the prisoners committed suicide after police surrounded the compound and refused their demands for a getaway car and for them to be allowed to see their families.

According to an investigation by the Control Yuan, a supervisor at the prison's reception room triggered the emergency alarm while another supervisor used a radio communication device to report the emergency situation after they discovered that the six were trying to escape.

Chen, however, missed the opportunity to solve the situation right away because he did not hear the emergency sirens or the noisy commotion downstairs, although he was in his office on the second floor of the same building at the time, the Control Yuan said.

After they became aware of the situation, Wang and Lai did not report to Chen or the Agency of Corrections under the Ministry of Justice within 30 minutes, as required by law, the Control Yuan went on.

Due to Chen's being held hostage, the prison was left without leadership, which allowed the situation to eventually spiral out of control, it said.

Also, the Control Yuan pointed out that Chen and Wang first claimed that they offered themselves as hostages in return for the release of the guards, but were later found to have been lying, seriously damaging the prison's reputation.

(By Claudia Liu and Y.F. Low)
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