Fri, May 16, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Accused councilors miss court date, again

NO SHOWS Twelve Kaohsiung politicians charged with taking bribes again took advantage of their legal priviledges to avoid a summons and miss a date in court

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Sixteen defendants were summoned to the Kaohsiung District Court for a hearing in the Kaohsiung City Council bribery case, but only four of them actually showed up.

The four were DPP Legislator Lin Chin-hsing (林進興), independent Kaohsiung City Councilors Chen Han-sheng (陳漢昇), Lee Chiao-ju (李喬如) and Hsu Kun-yuan (許崑源).

Chen is a former KMT member and Lee is a former DPP member, but both were expelled from their parties after they were indicted on charges of accepting bribes to throw the election of the Kaohsiung City Council speaker.

Among the no-shows at the third hearing in the case were former KMT members Tsai Ching-yuan (蔡慶源), Huang Tien-tsai (黃添財) and Yang Ming-lang (楊敏郎); former PFP members Lee Jung-tsung (李榮宗) and Chien Chin-cheng (簡金城); and former DPP members Chang Wen-hsiu (章玟琇), Chiang Chen-lung (江振龍) and Chang Ching-chuan (張清泉).

Also failing to appear were Huang Shih-lung (黃石龍), Tsai Chien-hsing (蔡見興), Chen Nai-ching (陳乃靜) and Chu Wen-ching (朱文慶) who were initially independent councilors. Chang Wen-hsiu is Lin's ex-wife.

According to law, elected city councilors are afforded judicial immunity for as long as council is in session.

This was the second time these indicted councilors had taken advantage of the judicial immunity they have during a council session to avoid a summons by the court.

The court filed an official notice to the city council on May 9 urging these councilors to be present for yesterdays hearing. It didn't want a repeat of the second hearing on May 2, for which only four councilors attended.

The Kaohsiung District Court made no immediate comment about the repeated absences.

In yesterday's hearing Chen Han-sheng, Lee Chiao-ju and Hsu did not defend themselves when questioned by the judge. Lin, on the other hand, insisted on his innocence.

Chang Wen-hsiu is accused of taking a NT$5 million bribe from Kaohsiung City Council Speaker Chu An-hsiung (朱安雄) while at the office of former Kaohsiung Civil Affairs Bureau Director Wang Wen-cheng (王文正).

Lin was indicted as an accomplice because he was present when the alleged transaction took place.

"I was there, but I did not know my ex-wife accepted the bribe. How can they indict me because of this?" Lin said.

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