"Pay close attention to that man behind the curtain!"

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Gone in just a few hours

Taipei Railway Station bomber has already disappeared

Although he was allowed to leave with family members on the condition that he would return home just yesterday, Kao Pao-chung, the Taichung man arrested on Friday for setting off an explosion near the Taipei Railway Station is not home, according to TV reporters who tried to interview him there just a few hours ago. I would think that the relatives that were supposed to take him home would now be subject to criminal indictment.

Since the suspect's family couldn't come up with the NT$100,000 bail money, it was his lover (whom witnesses conveniently verified had been seen with him earlier) who provided the bail money. By the way, Kao is married, and his wife is pissed. As if she wasn't already...

The judge who released Kao has said that he did so because the authorities know where the suspect lives and that he didn't get the impression that Kao would run off or do such things again. (Wow! A psychic judge!) Kao had also admitted to the crime and didn't destroy the evidence, despite the time that had passed.

However, by releasing Kao, this judge fails to consider a few obvious things:
* A potentially deadly crime had already been committed.
* Despite the time that had passed since both his crime and the election which the bombing may have been an attempt to influence, Kao hadn't turned himself in.
* If he hadn't been confronted with the evidence, there's no way of knowing if Kao would have admitted to the crime.
* Recidivism is a recurring topic in Taiwan's news.
* Kao said that he had been influenced by the "rice bomber," whom Taiwan's pan-blue media is trying to turn into some sort of a "hero."
Who? No, W-T-O (and WT-F?!)
The "rice bomber" was caught recently after a string of bombings which were supposedly motivated by an opposition to Taiwan's participation in the WTO. Being that Taiwan is so small compared to so many countries, I imagine that the rice farmers for whom this guy supposedly did these things would more likely benefit from Taiwan's entry in the WTO.

A news analysis about Kao's release posted online a short while ago by the Taiwan Daily reflects the sentiments in my post immediately below this one: "WTF?!"

FTV News had a big title across the screen earlier this morning reading: "Hey, Judge! Do you know the people's fear?!" You can bet there will be more outrage over this today from other thinking people.

RELATED LINK: A Taipei Times editorial cartoon done prior to Kao's release
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