The Kaohsiung District Court yesterday announced its next court date and said that city councilors will be arrested and escorted to the hearing by the police if they fail to show up.
The scheduled court hearing is for a bribery case resulting from the 2002 Kaohsiung City Council speakership election, and 15 Kaohsiung City councilors will be summoned.
The court made the announcement yesterday because only four councilors attended Friday's hearing, which was the second hearing of the case, although the court summoned 14.
"We hope to wrap this case up as soon as possible. As a result, we hope that the indicted councilors would cooperate with us and attend the hearings when summoned.
If not, we will be forced to ask the police to arrest them and escort them here. This is the last thing we want to do," said Chief Judge Lin Shui-cheng (
According to the court, the third hearing of the case will be held on May 15. Judges will summon 15 independent Kaohsiung City Councilors, including former KMT members Tsai Ching-yuan (
Although the court has asked these councilors to attend the third hearing, there is still a legal excuse for them not to follow this order because they have judicial immunity during the council session, which will not be concluded until June 6.
The Kaohsiung District Court assigned three judges to the bribery case, including Lin and two other judges, Chen Ming-chu (
During the second hearing on Friday, the four councilors, including independent Huang Fang-jen (
These four councilors are all independent now, as their political parties expelled them after they were indicted.