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SID denies wiretaps on top DPP lawmaker
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-12-28 02:55 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Supreme Prosecutors Office Special Investigation Division (SID) denied Saturday it had extended its wiretaps on opposition Democratic Progressive Party legislative chief whip Ker Chien-ming until November.

Wiretaps on the Legislative Yuan came to light after the SID announced on September 6 it had investigated Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng for alleged illegal lobbying with the Ministry of Justice on Ker’s behalf.

The top opposition lawmaker on Friday accused the SID of having tapped his conversations until November 5 for political reasons. The SID originally said they had only been eavesdropping from May 16 until September 5, but documents a legislative investigation committee had requested from the Criminal Investigation Bureau showed the practice had started on May 1 and continued until November 5, Ker said.

During that period, from October 30 until November 5, the DPP was trying hard to prepare an attempt at a motion of no confidence in the Cabinet of Premier Jiang Yi-huah, Ker said, naming the eavesdropping as a possible reason why it had been so hard to find support.

The SID had listened in 97 times during the middle half of the year, he said. Only a small proportion of the eavesdropping had been done by police, but the vast majority had been conducted by SID prosecutors, Ker told reporters.

He said the practice was only used in the case of drugs smuggling, ransom demands or the payment of bribes to politicians.

The SID said Saturday that once the influence-peddling investigation had been completed on September 5, all wiretaps targeting Ker had been removed, so the lawmaker must have misunderstood the documents he saw.

Prosecutors said they had acted in complete compliance with court warrants allowing wiretaps, so the eavesdropping had not continued beyond early September.

The official in charge of the SID, Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming, has been on trial for leaking confidential information about the influence-peddling investigation to President Ma Ying-jeou.

Speaking as a witness in the case at the Taipei District Court Friday, Premier Jiang Yi-huah revealed that Huang had also presented him with a report about the case on September 4, before the investigation had been completed. Once the SID presented the case at a September 6 news conference, Jiang said he ordered the document shredded because it did not contain any exclusive information.

Despite enormous public pressure to resign, Huang said he would not leave office before the end of his term next April unless the Taipei District Court found him guilty or the Control Yuan impeached him. The court is widely expected to reach a verdict before April, while the Control Yuan has so far failed to pass an impeachment motion.

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