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4 Kaohsiung ward chiefs indicted over involvement in China trip

01/11/2024 11:31 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 11 (CNA) Prosecutors on Thursday indicted four ward chiefs in Kaohsiung for their alleged involvement in a recent Beijing trip subsidized in part by the Chinese government.

According to the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office, a ward chief identified by his last name Chen (陳), organized and led a tour group of 31 people, including several Kaohsiung ward chiefs and local residents, to Beijing in September last year.

The six-day trip, which came at the request of a local Chinese government official who handles Taiwan affairs, cost NT$17,500 (US$563) per person covering the expense of their ticket, with all other expenses in China, including transportation, food, and accommodation, covered by the host, prosecutors said.

While there, Chen and several of the office's Chinese officials made statements including "both sides of the strait belong to one family" and that a "certain political party" in Taiwan should be removed from power.

The Chinese officials and Chen also suggested that the visitors should vote for a "certain political party" in Taiwan's upcoming Jan. 13 presidential and legislative elections, prosecutors said.

Raids were carried out at different locations in Kaohsiung on Dec, 20, during which several people, including Chen, were questioned over their involvement in the case.

The Kaohsiung prosecutors' office said Chen was indicted for alleged contraventions of the Anti-Infiltration Act, the Public Officials Election And Recall Act, and the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Act.

Meanwhile, three other Kaohsiung ward chiefs were charged with "Offenses of Interference with Voting" under the Criminal Code for their involvement in the trip.

Elsewhere on Thursday, a woman surnamed Lin who previously ran as a candidate for Chiayi City Councilor was indicted for organizing a recent trip to China at the request of the Zhejiang Provincial People's Government Taiwan Affairs Office.

Based on a document released by the Chiayi District Prosecutors Office, the 54-year-old Lin was also indicted for suspected violations of the election law.

(By Lin Chiao-lien, Huang Kuo-fang and Ko Lin)

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