Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-03-19 05:18 PM
Appeals were still possible, but the Taipei District Court ruled that the revocation of Wang’s party membership by the KMT was not allowed by its rules and went too far.
The victory meant not only that Wang was still a party member, but also that he could remain as head of the Legislative Yuan.
Since Wang was elected on an at-large party list decided by proportional representation, a removal from the party would have automatically implied the loss of his seat at the Legislature and the ending of his career as speaker.
Wednesday’s ruling was the latest episode in the power struggle between Ma and Wang which started last September when the Supreme Prosecutors Office Special Investigation Division (SID) accused the speaker of influence peddling with the judiciary on behalf of a top opposition lawmaker.
Ma immediately chose the side of the prosecutors, condemning Wang, who was attending his daughter’s wedding in Malaysia at the time, as unfit to serve as the top legislator. The KMT decided to strip Wang of his party membership, but the court approved a motion filed by his attorneys to allow him to remain a member until the court verdict.
Democratic Progressive Party legislative chief whip Ker Chien-ming had been found not guilty in an embezzlement case, and had allegedly asked Wang to request prosecutors not to file an appeal. Both men denied the SID allegations announced at a news conference on September 6.
In addition to the political power struggle within the KMT, the case also snowballed into allegations of illegal eavesdropping and abuses of power by the SID and by its supervisor, Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming.
A trial alleging Huang broke the confidentiality of the investigation into Wang by telling the president about it at an August 31 meeting is expected to reach a conclusion before the end of the top prosecutor’s official term in office next month.
Separate investigative bodies and the nation’s top watchdog, the Control Yuan, have also looked into Huang’s behavior, but attempts to impeach him failed due to tied votes.
He said earlier that he would only resign before the end of his four-year term in April if the Control Yuan impeached him or if the Taipei District Court found him guilty.
The top prosecutor said the conclusions of the investigation into Wang were already clear by the time he told Ma and therefore no laws were broken. The president later called in a key aide and Premier Jiang Yi-huah to tell them about the case surrounding the legislative speaker. It also came to light that the SID had tapped a telephone exchange at the Legislative Yuan.