The Tainan District Court yesterday found Tainan City Council Speaker Lee Chuan-chiao (李全教) guilty of vote-buying, handing down a four-year prison term and a five-year deprivation of civic rights.
As a result of the ruling, Lee will be suspended from his position as speaker with immediate effect in accordance with the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法).
Lee said he would appeal.
Photo: Tsai Wen-chu, Taipei Times
Lee, a member of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), was accused of buying votes from fellow councilors in the city speakership election on Dec. 25, 2014, with cash paid via go-betweens.
Seven others were also charged in the case, three of whom were found guilty in yesterday’s ruling.
In January, the court found Lee guilty of vote-buying during his campaign for city councilor in November 2014.
Lee is appealing that decision.
After yesterday’s ruling, Deputy Speaker Kuo Hsin-liang (郭信良) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is to be the acting speaker for the city council.
Meanwhile, Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德), who boycotted city council meetings for months in protest against Lee’s election as speaker, yesterday said justice had been introduced into local politics.
Lai and the DPP’s other city councilors affirmed the judge’s ruling, saying it represented the first step in successful reforms.
Lai said his decision to boycott council meetings until a ruling had been passed on the case was motivated by his desire to see the beginnings of local political reform, adding that he wish to thank those who supported his decision.
Meanwhile, KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Wang Hung-wei (王鴻薇) said the party is in the process of suspending any party powers Lee was entitled to as a KMT member in accordance with internal regulations.
According to KMT internal regulations, members are to have their party rights suspended if they are found guilty of bribery or other violations under the act in a first court ruling, while their party membership is to be revoked if a guilty verdict is upheld in a second ruling.
Additional reporting by Shih Hsiao-kuang
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
RECEIVING TREATMENT: President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang visited former president Lee Teng-hui yesterday morning Taipei Veterans General Hospital yesterday rebutted speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had died a day earlier, saying that he was weak, but receiving treatment. The hospital said the 97-year-old Lee was not in good condition and needed ongoing care, adding that if there are any changes in his condition, it would make those public. The comments came after rumors emerged online on Tuesday that Lee had died after being hospitalized since early February. Soon after the unsubstantiated rumors emerged, reporters started flocking to the hospital seeking confirmation. Lee was admitted to Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Feb. 8 after choking while drinking
THAI CASE UPDATE: Twenty-nine close contacts of the worker have been tested with two types of tests, including 18 dorm mates, with 28 negative results so far Five imported cases of COVID-19, four from the Philippines and one from Hong Kong, were reported yesterday, bringing the total confirmed cases in Taiwan to 467, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The four returning from the Philippines were on the same flight, and the local health department has identified 15 people who had direct contact with them — including 10 passengers in the two rows in front or behind them, who have been put under 14-day home isolation, and five crew members, who will practice 14-day self-health management, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang