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President OKs Prosecutor-General's resignation

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-jeou approved Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming's (黃世銘) resignation that he proposed after being sentenced for disclosing wiretapped conversations during an ongoing investigation, the Presidential Office announced yesterday.

According to the Presidential Office, the Ministry of Justice will assign a senior head prosecutor from the Supreme Prosecutors Office to take over the position until April 18, which will be the last day of Huang's term.

The Taipei District Court ruled Huang guilty on charges of leaking classified information to President Ma Ying-jeou in violation of the Criminal Code and the Communication Security and Surveillance Act (通訊保障及監察法) and sentenced him to a one-year, two-month prison term on March 21.

Huang, who previously pledged he would resign if he was convicted of leaking secrets, yesterday decided to keep his promise by announcing in a statement plans to step down from his post even though he still insists he has broken no laws.

According to the ruling, Huang briefed Ma on Aug. 31 last year about tapped telephone conversations indicating that Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) in late June allegedly asked then-Justice Minister Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) and Taiwan High Prosecutors' Office Head Prosecutor Chen Shou-huang (陳守煌) to prevent high court prosecutors from seeking an appeal in Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Ker Chien-ming's (柯建銘) breach of trust case.

Huang reported the case to Ma during an ongoing investigation, thereby violating the Criminal Code and the Communication Security and Surveillance Act.

No Legislative Yuan, No Prosecutor-General

The new prosecutor-general cannot officially take over the position since all parliamentary procedures were ceased when the students occupied the Legislative Yuan, the Presidential Office said.

According to the Presidential Office, Ma nominated Yen Da-ho (顏大和), chief prosecutor of the Supreme Prosecutors Office, for state prosecutor-general on March 13 and the Legislative Yuan originally scheduled to review this personnel case on March 31.

However, the Presidential Office said, since students who protested against the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement have been occupying the Legislative Yuan since mid March, all parliamentary procedures, including personnel cases that require consent from legislators, have been stopped.

The Presidential Office said that the repair work on the Legislative Yuan will take about one month after the protest is over, and it might affect the review process of personnel cases that concern the Examination Yuan and the Control Yuan.

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