Fri, Nov 26, 2004 - Page 4 News List

3,191 cases of election graft reported

LOOKING FOR JUSTICE Chen Ding-nan called for quicker resolution of lawsuits against vote-buying candidates, and rewards were offered to informants

CNA , Taipei

Justice Minister Chen Ding-nan (陳定南) yesterday called for court cases involving vote-buying to be dealt with more quickly, saying that "justice overdue is no justice."

Chen made the remarks after presenting a cash award of NT$5 million (US$153,840) to an informer in a vote-buying lawsuit against legislative candidate Wang Tao-fu (王滔夫) in the 1995 legislative elections. To protect the identity of the informer, Fan Wen-hao (范文豪), chief prosecutor of Tainan Prosecutor's Office, received the money on behalf of the informant at the presentation ceremony.

According to the Executive Yuan's official regulations concerning awards for informants, an informant receives half of the award after the first trial in a district court in which a conviction is reached based on the informant's information, and the other half after a final ruling by a higher court. The cash award for informants in legislative election graft cases is NT$10 million.

Speaking about the graft case involving legislative candidate Wang, Chen noted that if the case had been concluded eight years ago, the effect would have been much greater, saying that the final ruling handed down after a delay of nine years didn't produce the impact it was intended to have.

Chen urged the Judicial Yuan to step up the monitoring of graft suits filed by prosecutors so that courts at all levels can carry out speedy trials.

Meanwhile, with only three weeks left before the Dec. 11 legislative elections, prosecutors have handled 3,191 reported graft cases as of Wednesday, the State Public Prosecutor General Wu Ying-chao (吳英昭) said yesterday.

Of that total, 615 cases are in Tainan, showing that the prosecutors and other law enforcement units in the southern Taiwan city are working hard in the crackdown on vote-buying, Wu said during an anti-vote-buying meeting with prosecutors and other law enforcement personnel in Tainan.

Cheng Ming-shun (鄭明順), deputy chief of the Investigation Bureau, said on the same occasion that judging from information collected over the past three weeks, vote-buying methods have shifted from providing free trips or banquets to the distribution of cash, with the latter form of bribery accounting for 52 percent of the reported cases.

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