NEW YORK — A gunman who admitted helping to kill a critic of Taiwan's ruling regime was acquitted Friday of charges that he performed the murder on behalf of an international crime syndicate known as United Bamboo.
Four men were convicted of racketeering charges for being members of United Bamboo, and another four--including the gunman, Tung Kuei-sen--were acquitted by a federal court jury in Manhattan.
The eight, as well as three men described as associates but not members of United Bamboo, also were named in an assortment of drug, weapons and related counts. All were convicted on at least one of those counts, including Tung, who was found guilty of conspiring to import heroin.
Henry Liu, a journalist who had been critical of Taiwan's Nationalist government, was shot in his suburban San Francisco home in October, 1984. Prosecutors charged that Tung was a high-ranking leader of United Bamboo who carried out the slaying, along with two other gunmen, to win favor with officials in Taipei.
Tung admitted on the witness stand that he shot Liu but said he was acting as a patriot, not as a member of a crime syndicate. The jurors apparently either accepted his story or felt that prosecutors had failed to prove their contention.
Tung still faces trial in California in the murder.