Thu, Feb 27, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Justice Ministry trumpets `black gold' indictments

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Fifteen lawmakers have been indicted for engaging in "black gold" politics over the past 30 months since the government launched its latest campaign to eradicate "black gold" politics, corruption and vote-buying, according to the Ministry of Justice.

After listening to a briefing presented by the ministry during the weekly closed-door Cabinet affairs meeting yesterday morning, Premier Yu Shyi-kun claimed victory in the government's efforts made between July 2000 and last December.

At a press conference following the meeting, Cabinet Secretary-General Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳) quoted Yu as saying that "We've made stunning achievements over the past 30 months and we'll continue to do it under the `three nos' principle."

The "three nos" refers to the government's determination to investigate "black gold" politics, corruption and vote-buying without regard to suspects' political affiliation, social status or personal connections.

According to Vice Minister of Justice Hsieh Wen-ting (謝文定), as of last December a total of 1,100 people have been indicted for "black gold" politics.

Of those, 15 were lawmakers, six were county commissioners or city mayors, 64 were township or village administrators, 14 were either speaker or vice speaker of county or city councils, three were Taipei or Kaohsiung city councilors and 70 were county or city councilors.

Of those indicted for "black gold" activities, 92 were found guilty and 51 were acquitted.

More than 3,900 people have been indicted for corruption over the past 30 months in cases involving a total of NT$16.7 billion.

More than 2,600 of these people were either elected government officials or civil servants, while the remaining 1,300 were civilians.

Over 4,900 people have been indicted for vote-buying during the crackdown. Of those people, 621 were indicted for taking bribes in legislative elections, 95 for activities in county commissioners and city mayors elections, 857 for county and city councilors elections and 424 for township and village administrators elections.

The number of people indicted in the legislative elections is about four times the figure two years ago.

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