Chiayi District Court, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

A Vietnamese migrant worker walked free from Chiayi District Court in Taiwan after the court found that the wrong man was being prosecuted. This happened as a result of another Vietnamese man giving police a false identity when stopped for drunk driving.

At about 11pm on March 23, 2018, the suspect surnamed Pham was stopped when riding his motorcycle drunk in the Minxiong area of Chiayi, the China Times reported.

Patrol officers who stopped the man attempted to subject him to a breath-alcohol test. However, not only did the suspect refuse to cooperate, he pushed an officer named Yeh to the ground and fled the scene. He was later detained and found to have a level of 0.54 milligrams of alcohol per 1000ml of blood, which far exceeded the legal limit of 0.15 milligrams.

However, the defendant called into court insisted that he could not have committed the crimes he was charged with as he was at work at the time. This was possible to verify with his employer.

The judge then examined police station CCTV footage, from which it was possible to estimate that the original suspect was approximately 194 centimeters tall. However the accused in court was only about 167 centimeters tall.

An officer in charge of the case, surnamed Lu, appeared in court and testified that the defendant was not the suspect. This prompted further investigations using fingerprints which concluded that there were indeed two different men, meaning that on the night of the offences, the suspect had provided a false name and personal details.

The court declared the defendant innocent.

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