Ex-president Ma questioned over information leak

Former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and other former government officials were questioned on Thursday by prosecutors as part of a lawsuit in which Ma stands accused of encouraging former State Prosecutor-General Huang Shyh-ming (黃世銘) to leak confidential information regarding an on-going investigation.

The suit has been filed by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), who accuses Ma of asking then State Prosecutor-General Huang to leak information relating to an on-going investigation to then Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) in 2013.

Also questioned were Huang, Jiang and Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強), former deputy secretary general of the Presidential Office, who arrived at Taipei District Prosecutors Office in the evening.

The questioning of Ma, Huang and Jiang began at 2:30 p.m. and lasted for more than seven hours.

At 9:30 p.m. Ma left the prosecutors office, saying to waiting reporters, “Thank you for your concern,” adding “I cannot tell you anything about the on-going investigation.”

Lo left at about the same time after being questioned for three hours, saying he was confident of Ma’s innocence.

Huang was formerly found guilty of approving an illegal wiretap and leaking information from an ongoing criminal investigation to Ma. He also approved a transcript of the wiretapped conversation when the Special investigation Division (SID) reported possible misconduct based on a conversation it overheard between then Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and opposition Legislator Ker Chien-ming.

In the conversation, Wang and Ker discussed lobbying two senior justice officials to prevent any appeal of Ker’s recent acquittal in a breach of trust case, the SID said.

Huang’s actions in reporting to the president had no constitutional basis, according to a Ministry of Justice committee, as the Republic of China Constitution does not list the president as the head of the Legislative Yuan, Ministry of Justice or Executive Yuan.

The committee said Huang had undermined the credibility of the Supreme Prosecutors Office, under which the SID operated. It recommended his dismissal and Huang resigned in March, 2014 after being sentenced to a 14-month jail term. The sentence was confirmed in Feb. 2015 and increased to 15 months.

On Oct. 31, 2016, Huang was ordered by Taipei District Court to pay Ker NT$620,000 (US$19,628) in damages, the result of a civil suit in the same case.

The District Court also ruled that Huang should pay Prosecutor Lin Hsiu-tao (林秀濤) NT$300,000 for illegally tapping phone conversations with her daughter as part of the SID probe into suspected lobbying involving Ker and Wang.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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