Pingtung County prosecutors yesterday indicted five people, including local party officials, on charges arising from the production and distribution of smear campaign literature before the Nov. 29 nine-in-one elections.
The Pingtung County District Prosecutors’ Office charged the five people with violations of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法).
The indicted included Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Pingtung County Branch Director Chang Ya-ping (張雅屏), Chang’s publicity director Huang Wen-cheng (黃文政), KMT Pingtung City Branch Director Fu Chien-hsiung (傅建雄), Aboriginal cultural group Naluwan Urban Organization secretary-general Liao Po-nien (廖柏哖) and a publicity firm manager surnamed Liu (劉).
Prosecutors said they asked that Chang be heavily punished as the lead figure who allegedly directed the smear campaign and that, when questioned, gave contradictory statements in an attempt to evade responsibility and cover up the role he played.
The prosecutors said they are seeking more lenient sentences for the other four suspects because they had admitted to their roles in producing the brochures, and had shown remorse for their actions.
Prosecutors said the indicted were the main suspects in a mudslinging effort involving a series of campaign brochures insinuating that then-Democratic Progressive Party Pingtung County commissioner candidate Pan Men-an (潘孟安) had had extramarital affairs with KMT Pingtung County Councilor Lin Yu-hung (林郁虹) and three other female county councilors.
Pan won the race for Pingtung County commissioner and Lin also won her councilor race.
After the elections, Lin threatened to quit the KMT, saying she was disappointed that her reputation was sullied by members of her own party.
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