Thu, Dec 14, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Vote-buying inquiry widens

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Kaohsiung prosecutors yesterday said the investigation into the Kaohsiung vote-buying scandal could soon be closed after a key individual in the investigation had been apprehended.

The Kaohsiung District Court early yesterday morning agreed to prosecutor requests to detain Tsai Neng-hsiang (蔡能祥), nicknamed Hei Sung (黑松), who admitted under questioning that he gave 48 individuals on a bus NT$500 (US$15) each and asked them to vote for a mayoral and a Kaohsiung city councilor candidate.

Kaohsiung District Prosecutors' Office spokesman Chung Chung-hsiao (鍾忠孝) yesterday said Tsai told prosecutors that Ku Hsin-ming (古鋅酩) had ordered him to give money to bribe the voters, adding that he had no idea who else was behind the vote-buying scheme.

Prosecutors are still looking for Ku, who is rumored to have rented a bus that carried Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Huang Chun-ying (黃俊英) supporters to his election-eve rally on Friday.

While prosecutors are on the lookout for Ku, they were still not clear on whether Huang Chun-ying or KMT Kaohsiung City councilor candidate Huang Po-ling (黃柏霖). knew about the vote-buying or had ordered Tsai and Ku to do so.

Prosecutors could not rule out the possibility that the two Huang campaign staffers or other individuals had decided to act on their own initiative, Chung added.

"We have questioned more than 20 individuals on the bus so far. They all admitted to receiving NT$500 and being asked to vote for a mayoral candidate and city councilor candidate," Chung added.

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