Taipei, March 1 (CNA) The Ministry of Justice said Saturday that it has not engaged in wiretapping abuse and that the ministry acts according to the law without interference by political factors. The ministry issued the clarification one day after the U.S. State Department published 2013 human rights report, in which it makes reference to Taiwanese human rights issues of corruption, violence against women and children and exploitation of foreign fishermen. The report says that Taiwan indicted 576 officials in the first seven months of 2013, including several high-ranking officials involved in corruption, naming one of them as Lin Yi-shih, former Executive Yuan secretary-general. The report also cites top prosecutor Huang Shyh-ming as being indicted and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng being stripped of his party membership by the ruling Kuomintang. The ministry said the report cites scholars and political figures as saying that the ministry was conducting illegal wiretapping, a charge the ministry denied.
The Special Investigation Division of the Supreme Prosecutors Office has been accused of illegal wiretapping, but the Taipei Prosecutors Office has handed out a ruling not to prosecute.
The ministry said Taiwan is gratified that the U.S. is positive about Taiwan's crackdown on corruption, promotion of protection for whistleblowers, and its moves to clamp down on those with unaccounted wealth. (By Page Tsai and Lilian Wu)