Taiwan presidential office denies colluding with security bureau

Taiwan presidential office denies colluding with security bureau
Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou.

TAIPEI - The Presidential Office yesterday dismissed accusations that President Ma Ying-jeou had organised a meeting with the heads of the National Security Bureau (NSB) and the Justice Ministry's Investigation Bureau to "collude" against charges of illegal wiretapping.

Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip KerChien-ming (柯建銘) made the accusation during an interpellation session at the Legislative Yuan, yesterday, prompting Presidential Office spokeswoman Garfie Li (李佳霏) to explain that the president takes part in National Security Council meetings every Monday, and that the main topics of the meetings are different each week.

The topic of this week's meeting had to do with the NSB and the Investigation Bureau, which is why the heads of those two branches were invited, Li said, adding that in addition to the two bureau chiefs, other officials were also present.

In September, the Special Investigation Division (SID) revealed a wiretap transcript, indicating that Ker had approached Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) to help prevent an appeal against his case, ultimately allowing the caucus whip to walk away with a not-guilty verdict.

The incident led to then-Justice Minister Tseng Yung-fu's (曾勇夫) resignation and Wang's Kuomintang membership being revoked. The SID's revelation, however, backfired, prompting opposition lawmakers to accuse it of illegal surveillance and disclosure of confidential information.

Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) is currently under investigation for the charges, while the president and others have been called in to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office for questioning.

Huang has insisted upon his innocence, while the president said that illegal wiretapping and influence peddling are both illegal, and that both should be dealt with according to the law.

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