The Pingtung District Prosecutors’ Office on Friday indicted Pingtung County Council Speaker Chou Dian-lun (周典論) and nine Pingtung County councilors on charges related to vote-buying and accepting bribes.
Chou and eight of the county councilors are members of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), while the remaining councilor, Kuei Hsiao-hui (歸曉惠), is an independent.
The eight KMT councilors are: Wang Chih-feng (王志豐), Pan Yu-lung (潘裕隆), Yen Chin-cheng (顏金成), Li Chi-hsiang (李冀香), Pan Cheng-chih (潘政治), Chen Chao-chung (陳昭忠), Hsu Tien-chu (許天賜) and Chen Mei-chiung (陳美瓊).
Photo: Lee Lee-fa, Taipei Times
Three others, described as friends and business associates of Chou, were also indicted on Friday for their alleged roles in the affair.
The prosecutors’ office said the charges were related to breaches of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選罷法), adding that it is seeking a six-year jail term for Chou and lesser prison terms for the other councilors.
According to prosecutors, bribes were exchanged and vote-buying activities took place during the election for the Pingtung County Council speakership on Dec. 25 last year, which resulted in Chou winning the post.
In the election, Chou and Wang paired up on a ticket to run for the speaker and deputy speaker posts respectively.
Before the vote, Chou and Wang allegedly arranged for the other eight councilors to go to Taichung on a trip from Dec. 22 to Dec. 24, Pingtung County Chief District Prosecutor Yang Wan-li (楊婉莉) said.
Yang said evidence and witness testimonies showed that the councilors stayed in a luxury hotel in Taichung, were feted to banquets, went to nightclubs to drink and visited massage parlors.
According to the indictment, Chou and Wang allegedly paid for the trip and also disbursed between NT$10,000 and NT$20,000 to each councilor to secure their votes on Dec. 25.
“The councilors are suspected of having gone on the trip and taken bribes in exchange for their council speaker votes. They are in violation of the law against vote-buying and against making illicit profits,” the indictment said.
Chou said he would check the details of the indictment, adding: “We will fight this all the way to have all charges dismissed.”
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