Fri, Feb 25, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Aboriginal leader, 27 others indicted for electoral fraud

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Council of Indigenous Peoples Chairman Chen Chien-nien (陳建年) was indicted yesterday for buying votes for his daughter in last December's legislative election, and prosecutors also suggested a two-and-a-half-year prison term for him.

Chen proclaimed his innocence yesterday and accused prosecutors of filing false charges against him.

"I have just read the indictment and found the prosecutors are using false evidence against me," he said.

Prosecutors raided the headquarters of Chen's daughter, Chen Ying (陳瑩) two days before the legislative elections. Running as a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate, she won one of four legislative seats reserved for plains Aborigines.

Yesterday Chen Ying accused prosecutors of trying to victimize her father and her supporters.

Taitung District Prosecutors' Office spokeswoman Hsueh Yueh-yi (薛樂儀) said because Chen Chien-nien has denied the charge, the prosecutors recommended a heavier prison term and also asked the court to deprive him of his civil rights for eight years.

Twenty-seven other people were also indicted for vote-buying or taking election-related kickbacks yesterday, while 40 people who admitting to such crimes had their indictments suspended by prosecutors.

Last August Taitung prosecutors received a letter accusing Chen Chien-nien and his confidential secretary Chen Cheng-hsu (陳正旭) of going to a voter's home and bribing him with NT$ 2,000 to vote for Chen's daughter.

The prosecutors summoned more than 300 people for questioning in the case.

Chen Cheng-hsu, was among those indicted. Prosecutors have suggested a year and a half prison term, with deprivation of civil rights for six years.

Chen Ming-chin (陳敏智), the former director of the DPP's Taitung branch and Hsu Chiu-jung (徐秋蓉), a Taitung representative of the DPP's social development department were indicted for giving a woman named Chen A-lan (陳阿蘭) NT$ 20,000 to spread on canvassing for Chen Ying.

Prosecutors asked for a one-year sentence for Chen Ming-chin and a one-and-a-half-year term for Hsu Chiu-jung.

Chen Ming-chan (陳敏展), a restaurant owner and friend of Chen Chien-nien, was indicted for offering his restaurant as the site of a free party for voters.

Chen Chien-nien is a Puyuma Aborigine and a former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) county commissioner for Taitung.

His residence in Taipei and office at Council of Indigenous Peoples were also raided by the prosecutors assigned the case.

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