Tainan City Coun­cil speaker re­leased on NT$15 mil. bail

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Tainan City Coun­cil Speaker Lee Chuan-chiao ( ) was bailed for NT$15 mil­lion by Tainan Dis­trict Court yes­ter­day af­ter be­ing in­dicted by pros­e­cu­tors for buy­ing votes the day be­fore.

Lee, along with Tainan City Coun­cil mem­ber Kuo Hsiu-chu and six other peo­ple, was in­dicted on Thurs­day on charges of buy­ing votes, al­leged ac­tions that pros­e­cu­tors said led to Lee’s victory in the city coun­cil’s speak­er­ship elec­tion last De­cem­ber.

Lee is aligned to the rul­ing Kuom­intang while Kuo was elected on an in­de­pen­dent ticket.

The Tainan Dis­trict Pros­e­cu­tors Of­fice said that Lee of­fered to pay bribes of NT$300,000 ( US$9,632) to NT$10 mil­lion to each of six city coun­cil mem­bers, via a num­ber of mid­dle­men, to se­cure their votes in the speaker and vice speaker elec­tions.

Six of the al­leged mid­dle­men were pros­e­cuted along with Lee on Thurs­day.

Pros­e­cu­tors said their case against Lee is backed by ev­i­dence ob­tained in raids on the sus­pects’ homes and of­fices in Fe­bru­ary and March.

The ev­i­dence in­cludes the records of about 75 mo­bile phone num­bers and footage from more than 20 closed cir­cuit TV lo­ca­tions, pros­e­cu­tors said, adding that about 100 wit­nesses and sus­pects will be sum­moned in the case.

The pros­e­cu­tors, who took Lee into cus­tody dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, re­ferred him to the Tainan Dis­trict Court for trial af­ter fil­ing the in­dict­ment against him. The court or­dered Lee’s re­lease on bail of NT$15 mil­lion (US$445,691) Thurs­day evening.

Last De­cem­ber, Lee was elected speaker of the 57-seat Tainan City Coun­cil on which his party held 16 seats against the op­po­si­tion Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party’s 28.

The KMT also won city coun­cil speaker seats in four of the coun­try’s other five other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties last year on the heels of its re­sound­ing de­feat in the coun­try-wide lo­cal gov­ern­ment elec­tions on Nov. 29. Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te ( ) of the DPP has sup­ported calls for an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­leged cor­rup­tion in the city coun­cil elec­tion.

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