TAIPEI (CNA) — Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) on Monday filed a lawsuit against New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) after the latter accused him of influence peddling to help a company owned by Han’s father-in-law in southern Yunlin County 20 years ago when he was a lawmaker.
Han’s lawyer Yeh Ching-yuan (葉慶元) said the accusations raised by Huang are baseless and false, repeated for the sole purpose of defaming the KMT presidential candidate.
Yeh filed a suit against Huang on Han’s behalf at the Taipei District Prosecutors Office, accusing Huang of violating Article 104 of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act.
The article stipulates that those who spread rumors for the purpose of helping or hindering the election of a candidate are subject to a maximum five-year prison term, according to Han’s spokesman and lawyer.
The suit was filed after Huang held a press conference on Friday at the Legislative Yuan, where he accused Han of using his influence as a lawmaker in 1997 to help his father-in-law Lee Jih-kuei’s (李日貴) gravel company secure a plot of land on the bank of the Zhuoshui River to use as a gravel excavation site.
The land was originally owned by the government but after a series of meetings Han held with then-economic ministry officials, the government agreed to make it available for gravel excavation in 1998, as a result of what Huang called influence peddling by Han.
Asked to comment, Han said Sunday that he was one of many lawmakers across party lines who asked the government to make the land available for development at the request of the head of Siluo Township government.
Han’s spokesman Yeh Yuan-chih (葉元之) said Han was simply doing his job as a lawmaker, which was to help constituents solve their problems.
Han served as a KMT lawmaker from 1993 to 2002.