Thu, Dec 09, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Prosecutors interrogate suspects over vote-buying

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Prosecutors in Changhua, Taichung, Chiayi and Yunlin are all investigating cases of alleged bribery related to Saturday's legislative elections, officials said yesterday.

In Changhua County, former National Assembly member Chen Pao-bin (陳寶彬) was arrested and detained on a bribery charge after prosecutors and police officers found NT$193,000 in his possession that was allegedly to be used for bribes.

"We have been recording his conversations and phone calls and following him for a while. We realized that he is a heavyweight vote captain for a local candidate," said Chen Sung-chi (陳松吉), a chief prosecutor of the Changhua District Prosecutors' Office.

Chen Sung-chi said a gag order prevented him from identifying the candidate.

According to the prosecutors' office, Chen Pao-bin said he had been helping the unidentified candidate before he was detained yesterday.

Independent candidate Chiang Chu-sheng's (江春盛) vote captain Wu Chin-ho (吳金河) was detained for allegedly buying votes for Chiang. Prosecutors discovered NT$380,000 in alleged bribe money at Wu's office.

Wu denied that he had been involved in bribery, but was arrested on the strength of statements by 16 people who admitted that they had accepted bribes from him.

Liu Sung-wu (劉松梧), special aide to independent lawmaker Yen Ching-piao (顏清標), was taken to the Taichung District Prosecutors' Office because he allegedly bought 3,000 electric massagers and was apparently planning to distribute them to people in return for voting for Yen.

Yen yesterday denied any involvement in such a plan.

"I did not know that he would do this. I did not ask him to do so, either," Yen said.

In Chiayi, prosecutors received secret tips from unidentified sources claiming that Chen Yu-lin (陳玉麟), chairman of the Shui-shang Township Ming-sheng Community Development Association, and Chang Jin-hu (張金虎), chairman of the Chiayi County Democracy and Culture Association, were trying to buy votes by organizing free trips and barbecue activities for local voters.

Prosecutors questioned and released Chen Yu-lin, Chang and 29 other people, who all denied involvement in bribery.

In Yunlin, prosecutors investigated bribery claims against the father of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative candidate Chang Sho-wen (張碩文). Investigators found a list of voters' names, as well as free giveaways including little flags and flyers for Chang Sho-wen's campaign, at the office of his father, Chang Hui-yuan (張輝元).

Chang Sho-wen's spokeswoman, Chang Yu-hsuan (張鈺萱), said that there must be some misunderstanding.

"Chang Sho-wen is one of the candidates who is strongly against vote-buying. We hope that prosecutors can go through the details to determine if our political enemies are trying to take advantage of these false allegations to defeat us," Chang Yu-hsuan said.

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