Fri, Jul 25, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Crackdown on vote-buying ruffles feathers in Hualien

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Prosecutors in Hualien yesterday complained that their superiors were paying too much attention to cracking down on bribery related to next month's Hualien County commissioner by-election.

"We Hualien prosecutors already know how to do our jobs. We do not need our superiors to show us how to accomplish our mission," said Yang Ta-chih (楊大智), a chief prosecutor at the Hualien District Prosecutors' Office.

Yang made the remark during a meeting to discuss the crackdown on election-related bribery which was chaired by Minster of the Interior Yu Chen-hsien (余政憲) and Minister of Justice Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) at the Hualien County Police Department yesterday morning.

"We do believe that local prosecutors know what they are doing and will successfully prevent bribery during the election," Chen said. "Honestly, today's meeting is more like a promotional event. We hope to warn potential vote-buyers not to do so by asking high-ranking law enforcement officials to meet here to show our concern and our determination to tackle vote-buying.

"Our experience and statistics showed us that bribery was not news in Hualien during past elections so we have to do this. It is like a constant reminder to vote-buyers," he said.

As part of the crackdown, Yu has also transferred 480 police officers from other counties to establish an anti-vote-buying task force.

Yang, however, said that local prosecutors and police officers have already reached a tacit agreement on how to investigate crimes.

The arrival of high-ranking law-enforcement officials and the transfer of more police officers also seemed to humiliate local prosecutors and police officers.

"It seems to me that we do not know how to do our jobs so our superiors need to ask somebody else to show us," Yang said.

Huang Yi-chun (黃怡君), a prosecutor from the Hualien District Prosecutors' Office, said the out-of-county officers would be of little use in Hualien.

"They do not even know their way around downtown Hualien. How can they carry out their mission?" she said. "To transfer so many officers from other locations is a waste of manpower."

Yesterday's meeting was also attended by National Police Administration Commissioner Chang Si-liang (張四良), Criminal Investigation Bureau Commissioner Hou You-yi (侯友宜), State Public Prosecutor-General Lu Jen-fa (盧仁發), Bureau of Investigation Director-General Yeh Sheng-mao (葉盛茂) and Hualien County Police Department Commissioner Chang Lin (張林).

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