The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison.
The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years.
The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area of the beach reserved for surfing.
He had asked the men to remove the lines out of concern that he and other surfers might become entangled in them.
When the men refused, Prio used scissors to cut one of the lines, as well as calling the police, who told the four, identified as friends surnamed Wu (吳), Lee (李), Tsai (蔡) and Tseng (曾), that the surfing zone was out of bounds for fishing.
The men reluctantly removed their fishing lines and anchors, but after police left, they waited on the beach as Prio surfed, investigators said.
When he returned to shore, Wu hit him with an anchor’s spike and the others joined in the assault, which only ended when other people nearby rushed to Prio’s aid.
Despite his many injuries, Prio drove himself to Hengchun Tourism Hospital in Kenting, where personnel were reportedly shocked to see him walk in on his own.
One of the spikes was driven to within 1cm of his heart, and Prio was left with a punctured lung, broken ribs and numerous cuts and lacerations, prosecutors said.
The attack led to widespread concern at the time about the safety of foreign tourists in the Kenting area, as well as debates over the problems encountered by beachgoers and surfers when people have set up long lines for recreational fishing.
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