Ex-President Ma gets 4 months in information leakage case

Taipei, Former President Ma Ying-jeou (???) has been found guilty of leaking classified information and sentenced to four months in prison by the Taiwan High Court, in a ruling that reversed a not-guilty verdict handed down by a lower court.

The Taiwan High Court on Tuesday found Ma guilty of leaking classified information related to the investigation of an opposition lawmaker while the probe was in progress in September 2013.

The sentence can be commuted to a fine. The case can still be appealed.

The case goes back to September 2013 when it was disclosed that then-State Prosecutor-General Huang Shyh-ming (???) had shown Ma a transcript of wiretapped conversations that were part of evidence collected in an ongoing investigation of alleged breach of trust by senior Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Ker Chien-ming (???).

In the taped conversations, then Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (???) and Ker were heard talking about lobbying two senior justice officials, including the minister of justice, to prevent any appeal of the breach of trust case in which Ker had first been found guilty and then acquitted on appeal.

According to prosecutors, Ma leaked the contents of the recording, Ker's personal information and other information related to the ongoing investigation to then Premier Jiang Yi-huah (???) and then Presidential Office Deputy Secretary General Lo Chih-chiang (???).

They also indicted him for instructing Huang to leak the

confidential information to Jiang.

Huang was convicted in February 2015 of violating the Communication Security and Surveillance Act and was sentenced to 15 months in prison, commutable to a fine of NT$457,000 (US$14,751), which he has since paid.

Ma was president at the time and therefore had immunity from criminal prosecution but he was summoned as a potential defendant in the case for the first time on Dec. 1, 2016, after leaving office in May.

The Taipei District Court, however, found Ma not guilty of the two charges on Aug. 25, 2017, after which prosecutors appealed.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel