Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-10-02 03:06 PM
The Taipei Prosecutors Office is investigating whether Huang violated any confidentiality laws by telling Ma about the investigation on August 31.
Since then, Huang also acknowledged that the president asked him for another meeting the following day to disclose more details and that they talked again on the phone on September 6, when Huang’s Supreme Prosecutor Office Special Investigation Division (SID) went public with the allegations against Wang.
After Huang left the presidential residence on August 31, Ma invited Premier Jiang Yi-huah and then-presidential vice secretary-general Lo Chih-chiang over to brief them about the case, Ma told the radio show. Their conclusion was to respect the investigation while no other decisions were made, the president said.
The president said he only listened to Huang’s explanations and never told him how to conduct the investigation, since it was also already completed, with the only step still remaining the public announcement of the case. He also asked him to brief Jiang because the premier was Huang’s superior. Because the investigation was not criminal but purely administrative, there was no case for saying Huang had leaked confidential information, the president said.
Ma said that if prosecutors wanted to question him as a witness and to confront him with Huang, he was willing to meet their demands.
The influence-peddling allegations have since also expanded to include accusations of illegal tapping of Legislative Yuan phones by the SID and a power struggle between Ma and Wang inside the ruling Kuomintang.
Illegal influence peddling and illegal wiretaps all had to be treated in the same serious way, Ma said.
The opposition Democratic Progressive Party blasted the president’s interview. Ma was already under investigation, so it was completely unsuitable for him to be discussing the case on a radio show, party spokesman Lin Chun-hsien said, describing the president’s interview as “on-air collusion” with Huang and Jiang.
Ma’s putting Huang’s first visit at 8:30 p.m. on August 31 was wrong, since the media had reported it took place at 11 p.m., Lin said. The president was also guilty of leaking confidential information by telling Jiang and Lo about the contents of his conversation with Huang, according to the DPP.
Lin also wondered why Ma could not remember how many phone calls he had made to Huang about the case. The opposition spokesman questioned whether he had not made the phone calls to instruct Huang how to conduct the investigation into Wang.
DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang called on Ma to shoulder his responsibility and resign. The president should concentrate on running the country and not use illegal means to conduct a power struggle and interfere with the judiciary, Su said.
The new 11-member Ministry of Justice special investigative team set up to look at the case met for the first time Wednesday. The taskforce consists of five specialists from inside the judicial system and six members from private legal associations and organizations.
Newly appointed Deputy Justice Minister Tsai Pi-yu heads the team. She was unwilling to say whether the group would ask the president or Huang to testify.