Wed, Jul 30, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Kaohsiung court convicts five in vote-buying plot

STAFF WRITER

Kaohsiung District Court yesterday convicted the first of 40 people embroiled in a vote-buying scandal during the election of the Kaohsiung City Council speaker Chu An-hsiung (朱安雄) last year.

Councilor Chang Wen-hsiu (章玟琇) and her former husband, Lin Ching-hsing (林進興), who is a national legislator, were sentenced to 18 months in prison for accepting bribes before the speakership election in December last year. Their civil rights were also revoked for four years, meaning they may neither vote nor run for election.

The other three convicted yesterday were all city councilors.

Lin Shou-shan (林壽山) was sentenced to five months in prison, and Yang Se-yu (楊色玉) and Lin Kun-shan (林崑山) to 4 months each. Their civil rights were revoked for four years and their prison sentences suspended for three years.

While the ruling prevents all five from running for election, it does not affect their positions in the city council and Legislative Yuan. They may appeal up to the level of High Court.

Kaohsiung District Court Judge Lin Shui-cheng (林水城) made the ruling yesterday with the five defendants absent.

Except for Lin Ching-hsing, who was overseas, the other four councilors said they would decide whether to appeal when they receive notification of the ruling.

Lin Ching-hsing and his former wife, who were both DPP members at the time, were taped by Kaohsiung City Government cameras accepting NT$5 million from Chu. They were both expelled by the DPP.

According to the ruling, since these two denied the charges and behaved badly in court, their sentences were not suspended. The NT$5 million in bribe money was confiscated.

Lin Shou-shan and Yang were both former PFP members who were also expelled by the party after the scandal was exposed.

According to the ruling, Lin Shou-shan received NT$2 million and Yang NT$5 million for their votes. The money was confiscated in both cases.

Lin Kun-shan was a DPP member at the time of the election and received a bribe of NT$5 million. He returned the money, minus NT$200,000 he had spent, to Chu when the scandal was exposed. Lin was expelled by the DPP later and was fined the amount he had spent.

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