High-speed train bomber jailed for 22 years
Associate receives 12-year sentence
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-01-22 03:26 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The New Taipei District Court sentenced a man responsible for placing explosives on a high-speed train to 22 years in prison Wednesday.

Hu Tsung-hsien, an attorney, placed the devices on a train last April 12 and at the office of a Kuomintang lawmaker in New Taipei City in the hope of creating massive casualties which would provoke a sharp decline on the futures market, allowing him to make steep profits, prosecutors said.

Hu’s accomplice, taxi driver Chu Ya-tung, received a 12-year sentence. Appeals were still possible.

Chu boarded a northbound train at Taichung and left two suitcases with explosives behind before disembarking at Hsinchu. He joined Hu and together they drove up to New Taipei City’s Tucheng District, where he disguised himself as a police officer to leave two more cases with bombs outside the office of legislator Lu Chia-chen. A religious festival was taking place in the neighborhood at the time and a procession was likely to pass the site, reports said.

A gasoline smell alerted train passengers to the pieces of luggage, which led to the authorities stopping the train and launching a high-profile investigation. As media were still reporting about the train scare, police found the abandoned suitcases outside Lu’s office. Cameras helped in determining the movements of the suspects.

Hu and Chu had driven from Tucheng straight to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport where they boarded a flight to Macau before traveling on to China. Police in Guangdong arrested them two days later and repatriated them to Taiwan on April 16.

In court, Hu claimed he was motivated by anger at the widening gap between rich and poor and said the explosives on the train were not designed to cause widespread injuries. The judge said he was using the claims as excuses to hide his greed.

Chu was also motivated by greed and claimed he had been threatened by Hu to place the devices. There were reports that the attorney might have intended for his associate to be killed in the blast on the train or later at Lu’s office, since all bombs were timed to explode more or less at the time that Chu was placing them.

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