Army suspends 3 officers in probe into lieutenant’s suicide

Taipei,  Taiwan’s Army said Wednesday that it has suspended three military officers over their alleged roles in the death of a lieutenant, who committed suicide at a military camp in Taoyuan earlier this month.

The statement about the suspension of the three officers followed President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) comment on the matter earlier in the day, when she said she had read a letter written by the late lieutenant’s mother and promised a thorough investigation into the case.

In the letter, the mother said she suspected that her son had been a victim of bullying, which had led to his suicide.

In its statement, the Army said it had suspended three officers, pending its investigation into their roles in the death of lieutenant Huang (黃), whose first name was not released.

The three officers are the 269th Mechanized Infantry Brigade Deputy Commander Colonel Chen (陳), head of the brigade’s logistics division Lieutenant Colonel Chao (趙), and company commander Major Lu (呂), the Army said, without giving their first names.

Earlier Wednesday, the Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office said its forensic team had already ruled Huang’s death as suicide by hanging, but it was probing his family’s claims that he had been a victim of bullying within his military unit.

The office said prosecutors are now questioning Huang’s peers and superiors and checking his phone records in a bid to find out why he committed suicide.

Huang, 30, was found dead on April 16 at the Taoyuan military facility where he was based. No suicide note was found.

Huang’s mother later wrote an open letter to President Tsai, asking the government to investigate her son’s death, which she said was the third suicide at the Taoyuan base in the past six months.

In the letter, the mother said Huang’s superiors had been bullying him since he began serving in the unit in 2017.

Huang had also been complaining of a heavy work and little help, which may have driven him to suicide, his mother said.

Commenting on the letter Wednesday, President Tsai said she was saddened to learn of the young man’s death and that the relevant authorities were investigating the possible involvement of others.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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