Ma Ying-jeou faces investigation in 24 cases against him

Ma Ying-jeou faces investigation in 24 cases against him
Former President Ma Ying-jeou.
PHOTO: AFP

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Former President Ma Ying-jeou is facing investigation in several cases, including corruption allegations against him, as he has lost his presidential immunity from prosecution.

The Taipei District Prosecutors Office has said it will resume investigations Saturday over 24 cases against the former president, who stepped down on Friday.

Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san, who took office after President Tsai Ing-wen was sworn in, declined to comment on the prosecutors' move.

"I don't know much about the cases. I think it will only be proper for me to answer the questions after I study the cases," said Chiu when asked to comment on the investigation facing Ma.

The cases were filed by various people against Ma when he was still president. Because of his presidential immunity to criminal liability, the prosecutors suspended the cases without investigating them.

Of the cases, some are about corruption and breach of trust, and one involves allegations of sexual harassment, according to the Apple Daily newspaper.

The China Times disclosed that the 24 cases did not include the wiretapping controversy triggered by Ma's attempt to remove Wang Jin-pyng from the legislative speaker post in 2013.

As Legislator Ker Chien-ming has already filed a separate lawsuit with the Taipei District Court against Ma over the wiretapping, the prosecutors office will not open another probe for the same case, according to the China Times.

Huang Shih-ming, who resigned as prosecutor general in 2014 over the wiretapping row, was later convicted for illegally leaking to Ma information collected from wiretapped phone conversations between Ker and Wang.

One of the cases the prosecutors will look into involves accusations that Ma illegally helped businesses when he was mayor of the capital city handling the Taipei Dome project.

Two other cases question the sources of Ma's income, alleging that his monthly savings exceeded his presidential salary, according to The China Times.

The prosecutors office said it has not imposed an overseas travel ban on Ma, saying such a ban could be imposed only after a suspect or defendant has been questioned.

The prosecutors have yet to question the former president.

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