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 (
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 (
Also failing to appear were Huang Shih-lung (
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 (
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.