Ma unmoved by lobbying scandal explanation
By Katherine Wei ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Presidential Office yesterday relayed President Ma Ying-jeou's disappointment in Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng's (王金平) denial of involvement in alleged illegal lobbying.
September 11, 2013, 12:34 am TWN
Presidential spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) rebuffed Wang's comments on the Special Investigation Division's (SID) wiretapping and release of personal information. Lo's comments came less than three hours after Wang returned to Taiwan.
The SID accuses Wang of contacting former Justice Minister Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) on behalf of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) to demand that prosecutors not appeal a not-guilty verdict handed to Ker.
“Wang not only attempted to lobby against an appeal, he succeeded, as Ker was indeed let off the hook in the end,” said Lo.
“Would prosecutors not feel pressured if Wang used his position as Legislative Yuan speaker in an attempt to influence the verdict? The people of Taiwan only need one question answered: If this isn't lobbying, then what is?” Lo demanded.
The speaker criticized what he described as the SID's illegal wiretapping of telephone conversations with Ker, but did not comment directly on the lobbying accusations.
Wang Invited to Defend Self at KMT Conference
The Kuomintang's (KMT) Party Disciplinary Committee (PDC) will hold a meeting concerning Wang's involvement in the alleged lobbying at 9:30 a.m. today. Wang has been invited to speak at the meeting.
The speaker said he will attend the meeting and that he hopes the PDC will avoid making the same mistakes as the SID, including unilaterally deciding that Wang attempted to get Ker off the hook.
Wang Had Gone Too Far: Prosecutor
Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) gave a point-by-point rebuttal of Wang's statement, reiterating his claim that the speaker was caught red-handed.
Huang cited the Legislators' Conduct Act as saying that it is illegal for legislators to lobby or influence judiciary cases in any way. “Is Wang's concern for the verdict not a form of lobbying?”
The prosecutor said that Wang avoided mentioning whether he enlisted the help of Tseng or conversations between himself and Ker, “Which is obvious lobbying,” Huang insisted.
Huang responded to claims by Wang and Ker that the wiretapping was illegal and that investigators violated the constitution and the Criminal Code by leaking private conversations and confidential information.
Huang said that the conversations did not include personal information, only obvious proof of Wang's lobbying.
The prosecutor-general also responded to comments by Wang that the people will lose all faith in Taiwan's judicial system due to the SID's illegal wiretapping.
“Will people not lose faith because of Wang's meddling in the case?” Huang asked.
Presidential Office spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) holds a press conference in Taipei, yesterday. Lo stated that President Ma Ying-jeou was disappointed in Legislative Yuan Speaker ...