Military prosecutors have extended for two months an investigative period to determine if three senior military intelligence officers were involved in the murder of a Chinese-American writer in California, official sources said.
The three, including Vice Adm. Wang Hsi-ling, director of the Defense Ministry's intelligence bureau, were taken into custody Jan. 15 after they were implicated by reputed underworld leader Chen Chi-li in the killing of Henry Liu, whose writings were critical of the Nationalist Chinese government here.
Liu, 51, was shot to death at his home in Daly City last Oct. 15. His widow, Helen, claims the killing was a political assassination directed by the Taiwan government.
Under military regulations, prosecutors are allowed an initial two-month period during which they can hold suspects without charges. However, that can be extended two months if prosecutors believe they need additional investigation time.
In addition to Wang, 57, who was dismissed from his post, the other military officials in custody are his deputy, Maj. Gen. Hu Yi-min, 50, and Col. Chen Hu-men, 47, a deputy section chief in the agency.
Col. Chen and Chen Chi-li, reputed leader of Taiwan's Bamboo Gang, are not related.
Chen Chi-li and two other reputed members of his gang, Wu Tun and Tung Kuei-sen, are scheduled to be tried by the Taipei District Court on March 20 for the killing. However, Tung is at large and will be tried in absentia.