The Supreme Court upheld Thursday a High Court decision that Hsu Tzi-chiang (???), who has repeatedly appealed convictions for kidnapping, extortion and murder of a real estate businessman in 1995, was not guilty of all the charges.
Hsu was declared innocent by the High Court last year in the ninth retrial of his case, in which he was accused of playing a role in the September 1995 kidnap and murder of Huang Chun-shu (???), a real estate broker, whose kidnappers originally demanded a ransom of NT$70 million (US$2.2 million).
The High Court overturned the conviction last year, as the ruling in his ninth retrial found that there were major flaws and inconsistencies in the evidence and testimonies.
Hsu is one of three men sentenced to death in 2000 for the murder.
The two other suspects -- Huang Chun-chi (???) and Chen Yi-lung (???) -- were found guilty of being the main perpetrators, and were each given the death penalty.
During their trials, the two men said Hsu also participated in the kidnapping.
The High Court upheld District Court rulings on Huang and Chen, and the Supreme Court rejected their appeals in 2000, making their death sentences final. Extraordinary appeals were filed on the behalf of the pair and Hsu in the following years.
Activists and Hsu's lawyers criticized Hsu's conviction, on the grounds that it was based on the confessions of his co-defendants.
Hsu was found guilty and given the death penalty in his first six trials until 2009. The sentence was commuted to life imprisonment in the seventh and eighth appeals.
He was released in 2012 under a new rule that requires the release of suspects who have been detained for eight years without a final resolution of their cases.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel