Authorities probing 5,669 alleged vote-buying cases

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Wed, Jan 09, 2008 - Page 3

Prosecutorial authorities said yesterday they were probing more than 5,600 cases of alleged vote buying, indicating the scale of vote-buying during the legislative election campaign.

"Law enforcement officials expect vote buying to become more serious in the final days before the election and will therefore increase their efforts to stamp out this illegal behavior," State Prosecutor-General Chen Tsung-ming (陳聰明) told a press conference yesterday.

Chen said that up until yesterday, prosecutors were probing a total of 5,669 alleged instances of vote buying involving 10,332 people.

He said that so far only 14 individuals had been indicted in relation to two cases.

He said prosecutors had summoned a total of 3,429 individuals for questioning in relation to 283 cases and that 199 individuals had been arrested in relation to 46 other cases.

The top prosecutor said the number of reported vote-buying cases in relation to the March presidential election stood at 96 and involved 139 individuals.

While judges have ordered 38 people detained in connection with 29 cases, 138 people involved in 89 other cases were released on bail, he said.

He said prosecutors had been monitoring telephones and cellphones as part of their investigations and would increase monitoring in the coming days.

Chen said that in the remaining days before the elections, law enforcement officials would increase monitoring of candidates and their campaign workers.

Chen said law enforcement officials would also focus on detecting candidates who attempt to lure voters with money.