Ma, Huang, Jiang & Lo queried on wiretapping
By Katherine Wei ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Former Presidential Office spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強), Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and President Ma Ying-jeou, along with Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘), were summoned for questioning by the Taipei District Prosecutors Office (TDPO) last night, largely to discern whether the quartet violated any laws in their investigation of a lobbying case.
October 4, 2013, 12:17 am TWN
Huang's recent revelation that prosecutors wiretapped conversations between Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and opposition Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Ker Chien-ming (王金平) in an effort to investigate a lobbying case fueled Ma's determination to remove Wang from his seat and the Kuomintang.
As Huang's alleged leaking of information may have violated the law, Ma and Lo's participation was also questioned. Ma is the second president to be summoned for interrogation in the nation's history.
The four were summoned as the TDPO hoped their testimonies would unlock the still cloaked issue of what Huang and Ma discussed in the prosecutor's two visits to the Presidential Office. Ma, Jiang and Lo were summoned as witnesses of the case, while Huang was listed as a defendant. The TDPO questioned each alone.
Having visited the Presidential Office on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 to inform Ma on the wiretapped conversations and evidence gleaned on Wang's alleged influence peddling, Huang provided the information before the official investigation period of Wang's case had ended.
Ma allegedly relayed the transcripts to Lo and Jiang moments after Huang left his office and prompted them to find a solution to the lobbying case.
The president claimed that he and the other two had only listened to the wiretapped conversations, and did not attempt to instruct Lo and Jiang to take further measures.
The most serious penalty for leaking classified information is three years behind bars, but as Ma had previously claimed, because he was not aware of the fact that the investigation period was not yet over, the sentence — if handed down — would be reduced by half, according to experts in the legal community.
Although it is not possible for Ma to be listed as a defendant due to his presidency, he would not be exempted from punishment after his term in office ends.
Huang claimed that the influence-peddling incident violated Administrative Laws but not Criminal Law.
Lo Calls for Protesters to Stay Rational
A mob of anti-Ma supporters yesterday gathered in front of the prosecutors' office and shouted for the president to step down. Lo called for the protestors to remain rational, and added that there had been physical aggression directed toward him. “I understand that I may become the subject of slander and criticism, and I accept that. It may not take courage to oppose Ma, but it would certainly take a foolish stubbornness to stand on Ma's side,” Lo said.
Lo declined to comment on whether he had been privy to the wiretap transcripts, and repeated that he was merely being questioned as a witness. “I respect the Prosecutors Office, so I will be holding back any comments,” Lo said.
Still Innocent: Huang
When interviewed after the interrogation, Huang announced that “I have no regrets (regarding the wiretap). I do not owe anyone, anything; I am simply exposing the darkest, most hideous side of justice. In the future, I will persist in doing what I believe in and will not back down.”