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Tue, Oct 09, 2001 - Page 6 News List

Lawmakers say fellow legislator belongs in prison

By Stephanie Low  /  STAFF REPORTER


Lawmakers victimized by acts of violence of independent lawmaker Lo Fu-chu (羅福助) yesterday applauded the prosecution's decision to indict Lo and refer him to law enforcement authorities for alleged criminal activities.

People First Party Legislator Diane Lee (李慶安), the plaintiff in the case and a victim of a March 28 attack by Lo, said the decision means justice for her and is a demonstration of democracy for the legislature.

"The legislature shouldn't be out of the reach of law and order. Violence is not allowed in our society and the legislature should not tolerate behavior such as physical attacks on others," Lee said.

Lee said it was regretful that the televised violent incident made Taiwan's democratic development the laughing stock of the international community.

Lee said she believed the prosecution decided to charge Lo with being a hoodlum because of the repeated acts of violence he has committed.

"The fact that Lo never attended the investigative hearing held by prosecutors shows that he feels no remorse at all for the incident," Lee said.

Lo is one of several legislators who has resorted to fisticuffs in disputes with colleagues.

On March 2, Lo was sentenced to 59 days in detention by the Taipei District Court for assaulting DPP legislator Yu Jan-daw (余政道) during a legislative rumble involving several lawmakers on June 15, 1999.

Yu is dissatisfied with what he called a light sentence and has appealed to the Taiwan High Court.

Yu said both Lee's case and his own are evidence of Lo's habitual violence.

"Authorities concerned should continue their investigation as long as there is evidence," Yu said.

Chien Hsi-chieh, another DPP legislator who was slapped by Lo after a quarrel erupted during a committee meeting in the legislature on Jan. 3, 2000, said all acts of violence should be punished and that no lawmaker should be threatened with violence while performing their duties.

"These threats of violence make lawmakers fear for their safety even in doing their job," Chien said.

Independent lawmaker Liao Hsueh-kuang (廖學廣), who blames Lo for his abduction in 1996 -- wherin he was blindfolded, gagged and put in a cage -- said Lo should be put in jail for an extended period of time.

No criminal charge was brought against Lo in Liao's case due to a lack of evidence.

"He [Lo] will be arrested as long as the victims are willing to testify against him. He has been involved in too many cases of violence," Liao said.

Before deciding to refer Lo to police authorities on charges of being a hoodlum, investigators obtained the testimony of a number of Lo's victims, prosecutors said.

In addition to Lee, Yu and Chien, six other lawmakers have been physically attacked by Lo, including DPP legislators Chang Chin-fang (張清芳) and Tsao Chi-hung (曹啟鴻), independent legislators Eugene Jao (趙永清) and Chu Hui-liang (朱惠良) and former legislators Chien Ta (錢達) and Chang Chin-cheng (張晉城), according to prosecutors.

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