Legislature may ask for report on SID wiretaps
By Katherine Wei ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Legislature may consider an alteration of its original session schedule to ask the Special Investigation Division (SID) to deliver a report concerning its wiretapping of the Legislative Yuan's telephone switchboard, said Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟) yesterday.
September 30, 2013, 12:05 am TWN
“The SID's wiretap of the Legislature telephone is illegal, as the constitution states that the people are granted the freedom of private communication. The KMT caucus will be holding a meeting to decide how to handle the case,” said Lu, who is also a member of the Legislative Yuan's Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee.
The original schedule set for the Legislature's Oct. 2 session could possibly see some changes if an explanation from the SID is necessary, Lu noted.
The KMT caucus also announced that the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) should start an ad hoc group to probe the SID wiretaps and to determine which political official or officials should shoulder the brunt of responsibility. Its pan-green counterpart suggested a similar solution — an investigation committee should be established to unearth the truth. “The SID is abusing its authority and making a joke out of Taiwan's constitution; someone will ultimately have to step down,” said KMT Legislator Liao Cheng-ching (廖正井).
“Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) should know his place, instead of having legislators from the same party conduct a probe,” said KMT Legislator Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順).
The MOJ confirmed that it has indeed started such a group to probe the wiretap case. Presidential Office spokeswoman Garfie Lee (李佳霏) said that the president respects the MOJ's decision and all future investigations, but declined to respond to criticism aimed at Huang.
SID spokesman Yang Jong-tsung on Saturday stated that the telephone number “0972630235” was monitored but denied it was the Legislative Yuan's switchboard number, a mistake that prompted Huang to apologize several hours after Yang made the remarks.
The switchboard line is used by the 82 legislators working in the Legislative building and their secretaries. The number has been monitored for four months; as was the telephone belonging to DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), according to local media reports.