• Last chance for Taiwan death row inmate

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    DEATH PENALTY PROTEST  A protester (in white) reacts as he acts in a portrayal of death row inmate Chiou Hoshun during a demonstration in front of the Justice Ministry in Taipei on June 9, 2015. AFP PHOTO

    DEATH PENALTY PROTEST
    A protester (in white) reacts as he acts in a portrayal of death row inmate Chiou Hoshun during a demonstration in front of the Justice Ministry in Taipei on June 9, 2015. AFP PHOTO

    TAIPEI: Taiwan’s longest-serving death row prisoner, who says he confessed after being tortured, could be given a last chance of freedom in a case that has sparked criticism from rights groups.

    Lawyers for Chiou Ho-shun, 55, who has been on death row since 1989, lodged a motion for a retrial at the High Court in Taipei Tuesday after two retired police officers backed his torture claims.

    The officers presented their evidence to the top government watchdog the Control Yuan in 2013 and that body recommended an “extraordinary appeal” to prosecutors.

    But the appeal was rejected late last year, prompting rights group Judicial Reform Foundation to seek the retrial.

    Chiou was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering a six-year-old boy and robbing and killing a woman, but said he retracted his confession immediately after his interrogation.

    Chiou has said he was beaten, given electric shocks, forced to sit on ice and held blindfolded in a small isolated cell during the month-long police investigation.

    His appeals have been repeatedly rejected, with the High Court giving a final ruling three years ago that his death sentence should stand.

    AFP

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