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Taiwan premier to testify in court about prosecutor-general
Jiang to be summoned for Dec. 27 hearing
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-12-11 05:23 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Premier Jiang Yi-huah will be summoned to testify at the Taipei District Court on December 27 about the allegations that Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming leaked confidential information about the political influence-peddling scandal, reports said Wednesday.

Huang phoned President Ma Ying-jeou on August 31 to request a meeting later that day during which he revealed details of an investigation into illegal lobbying by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng. Later that day, Ma discussed the case at a separate meeting with Jiang and with a top aide. Because the investigation was not officially concluded until September 5, prosecutors indicted Huang for violating its confidentiality.

A verdict in the case was expected by late April, before the end of Huang’s term, reports said.

At the November 29 court hearing, prosecutors already demanded that Jiang be summoned to testify, but Huang’s attorneys opposed it because they argued that earlier questioning of the premier by prosecutors had been sufficient.

After Jiang, top members of the Supreme Prosecutors Office Special Investigation Division (SID) who investigated Wang would also be summoned, reports said.

Despite widespread calls for his resignation, Huang said on separate occasions that he would only step down if the district court found him guilty or if the Control Yuan impeached him. The latter failed to force him out because a vote on November 28 ended in a five-against-five tie. A second attempt at impeaching Huang reportedly failed because not enough Control Yuan members showed up.

The nation’s top prosecutor has also faced questioning by the Ministry of Justice Prosecutorial Review Committee, while the allegations, which originally focused on Wang, also expanded to include accusations of illegal wiretaps by the SID and of a power struggle within the ruling Kuomintang.

After the SID announced the allegations against the legislative speaker, Ma pushed for the revocation of his party membership. Wang won an injunction barring his expulsion until a verdict is reached by the Taipei District Court. The measure allowed him to hold on to his position as KMT member and speaker, while the president toned down the campaign against him.

The opposition has accused Ma and Huang of abusing the judiciary to wage a politically motivated campaign to remove Wang, who has often been seen as a rival to the president.

The Control Yuan failed to impeach Huang because they faced re-nomination by the president once their term ended next July, the opposition said.

Even KMT legislators demanded Huang’s resignation as they argued that after having become the first prosecutor-general to be indicted during his term, he had lost all authority.

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