Tue, Jun 28, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Hualien prosecutor faces lawsuit

LEGAL COUNTERATTACK A MAC vice-chairman has taken legal action against a prosecutor who indicted him for vote-buying after he made a campaign promise

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Mainland Affairs Council Vice- Chairman You Ying-lung (游盈隆) yesterday filed a lawsuit against Hualien Prosecutor Lee Tsu-chun (李子春) for indicting him last year over alleged vote-buying during December's Hualien County commissioner by-election.

"The prosecutor illegally indicted me. Despite being a prosecutor, he intentionally violated the law," Lee said as he brought the lawsuit to the Hualien Prosecutors' Office yesterday morning.

"A bad prosecutor such as Lee has violated litigants' rights and [my] reputation. In order to protect the country's legal system, we should not tolerate this," You said.

Lee indicted You, without first gaining his superiors' approval, on charges of violating the Public Officials Election and Recall Law (公職人員選罷法) last December.

The indictment said that You's campaign promise to give a monthly allowance to the county's Aboriginal chiefs to help them with community affairs amounted to vote-buying.

The Ministry of Justice and the Supreme Prosecutors Office both declared the indictment illegal, but the Hualien court has proceeded anyway.

"My promise to give a monthly NT$5,000 service allowance to the county's Aboriginal chiefs during the Hualien County commissioner campaign was obvious a policy, not a bribery, but Lee purposely and illegally indicted me," You told reporters.

"I offered some evidence and asked prosecutor Lee to look into it, but Lee purposely dismissed my request," You added.

You pointed out that People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) was accused of buying votes for promising to give senior veterans a monthly allowance when running in the 2000 presidential election, but the Taipei Prosecutors Office did not press any charges.

Lee should have been aware of such legal precedents for dealing with elections, he said.

"Any campaign messages in a democracy should be seen as policies, not bribery," You said.

You said political motives were involved in Lee's indictment.

"Lee misunderstands his role as a prosecutor. A prosecutor should be objective," he said.

You, then the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) candidate for Hualien County commissioner, made his campaign promise to the county's Aboriginal chiefs on July 27, 2003.

The statement was reported to the Hualien Prosecutors' Office by an anonymous person who claimed that You's promise constituted bribery, prompting prosecutors to open an investigation.

Although higher authorities consider the indictment illegal, the Hualien court views it as legal and has proceeded with the suit.

The court insists that according to the Code of Criminal Procedure (刑事訴訟法), as long as the prosecutor signs the indictment, it becomes a legal document.

Other prosecutors and lawyers have said that the indictment may be legal, but that Lee's decision to challenge his superiors' authority was inappropriate.

During Lee's investigation, he summoned local Aboriginal chiefs, vote-captains and DPP heavyweights including President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to testify, with Chen becoming the first head of state to give such testimony to a prosecutor.

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