Mon, Jun 25, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Judges in Chen Chu court ruling given police bodyguards

SAFETY CONCERNS The three Kaohsiung judges said they have not felt safe since handing down their decision against the mayor earlier this month

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Three police officers have been assigned to provide security for the three Kaohsiung judges who ruled against Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) in a mayoral election lawsuit. The judges have said they feel unsafe since handing down the decision against Chen.

Kaohsiung District Court yesterday said it had asked the Kaohsiung City Police Department last week to assign one police officer to each of the three judges.

The police department yesterday sent three officers from its special force unit to serve as bodyguards.

The officers will be responsible for the judges' security for three months, the district court said.

The three judges -- presiding Judge Huang Hung-chin (黃宏欽), Judge Ku Chen-hui (古振暉) and Judge Huang Hsuan-fu (黃宣撫) -- handed down their decision on June 15 to annul Chen's victory in the Dec. 9 Kaohsiung mayoral election, sparking heated debate.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) politicians have criticized the verdict, including President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who said it was unfair for the court to punish Chen Chu because members of her camp made public video footage of people buying votes for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Huang Chun-ying (黃俊英).

Members of the public who support Chen Chu have also made telephone calls to TV and radio call-in shows criticizing the judges and their verdict.

The district court said the three judges felt unsafe and required the protection of police officers.

The judges ruled that Chen Chu had violated the Election and Recall Law (公職人員選舉罷免法) when members of her camp made public the footage on the eve of the election.

The law stipulates that election candidates must stop all campaign activities at 10pm on the night before an election.

Chen Chu said on Friday that her campaign had not been in the wrong when it held the press conference.

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