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May 30, 2017

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Prosecution questions four over MAC information leak

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Taipei District Prosecutors Office (TDPO) yesterday summoned former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Deputy Minister Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) and three other witnesses for questioning regarding Chang's alleged information leak.

The questioning began after the prosecution searched seven locations, including Chang's residence in Taipei.

According to TDPO spokesman Huang Mou-hsin (黃謀信), Chang has expressed a wish to be questioned by the prosecutors, prompting the TDPO to reconsider and decide that Chang was not to be questioned by the Investigation Bureau after the search.

The TDPO said on Aug. 22 that Prosecutor Chen Shu-yi had been assigned to investigate whether Chang had leaked classified information. Chen is regularly appointed to cases that involve corruption, and immediately issued a notification that restricted Chang from leaving Taiwan, as it would take time to investigate whether he had committed the crimes he has been accused of.

Chang was summoned early yesterday and was questioned in court for five hours by the TDPO. As the prosecution suspected Chang of holding evidence, he was taken on a search of his own residence and back to the TDPO for another 5-hour interrogation session afterwards.

No Political Strife Involved: Ma

President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday declared that the controversy surrounding Chang's resignation and the MAC's accusations of his information leak did not stem from any sort of political disputes.

After the Cabinet announced Chang's supposed resignation two weeks ago, Chang fought back the following day claiming that he had been forced to quit and was "betrayed by his superiors." MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) himself responded to Chang's accusations later, saying that he had received a tip-off of Chang's whistle-blowing in July.

"Chang is one of our own, why would there be a power struggle against him? But if he has indeed committed a crime, we will not shield him from the law," said Ma.

According to Ma, many conclusions have been made too early; the last word should be spoken after the truth is revealed through the investigations.

Cross-strait Relations Unaffected by Chang's Case

Despite being unable to confirm whether Chang has violated the law, Ma stated that cross-strait relations have made systemized progress to such a degree that they will not be profoundly affected by this single case.

Ma also stated that Wang had made an efficient and fitting decision in asking Chang to leave his position after receiving a report of the information leak, and that there would be no need for Wang to leave his own position.

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