Thu, Feb 25, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Ex-KMT legislator gets three years in jail for vote-buying

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Kaohsiung District Court yesterday handed former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Wu Der-mei (吳德美) a three-year sentence for vote-­buying for her daughter in a Kaohsiung councilor by-election.

The ruling said Wu asked former chief of Kaohsiung’s Siaogang District (小港) Sun Jung-wen (孫榮文) and a man named Hung Ching-kuo (洪進國) to give NT$500 to voters in Siaogang and asked them to vote for her daughter, Chu Ting-yu (朱挺玗), who was then running as an independent for the ­Kaohsiung councilor election in 2006.

Hung was sentenced to one year and 10 months in prison, but the court granted him four-year probation.

While the verdict for Sun is final, Wu can still appeal, the ruling said.

Wu is serving a prison term at Kaohsiung Women’s Prison for embezzling NT$2 billion (US$58.8 million) from her company, An Feng Group.

Wu’s husband, former An Feng Group president and ­Kaohsiung City councilor Chu An-hsiung (朱安雄), is on the wanted list. Chu An-hsiung was convicted on charges of vote-buying in September 2003 and sentenced to 22 months in jail. He fled to China before he was to begin his jail term in October 2003, despite efforts by law officials to monitor his whereabouts.

Meanwhile, Lienchiang District Court detained a man for alleged vote-buying ahead of the Lienchiang County Council speakership election scheduled for Monday.

Lin Ching-tsung (林慶宗), chief prosecutor at the Lienchiang Prosecutors’ Office in Matsu, led prosecutors and agents from the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau on Monday to search 10 locations in Matsu and found NT$5 million in cash at a construction company owned by Chang Ching-chiu (張金秋). The Lienchiang District Court called for Chang to be detained on Tuesday.

Lin said prosecutors suspected Chang was asked by a county councilor to use the NT$5 million to bribe another councilor, but the latter did not receive the money.

Lin declined to name the two councilors, but said that more councilors would be summoned for questioning in the investigation.

There are nine councilors in the county council. A councilor can be elected as speaker if he or she garners five votes. Local media said four of the nine were interested in the speaker position.

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