Taiwan's SID refuses to comment on expanded monitoring report

Taiwan's SID refuses to comment on expanded monitoring report

TAIPEI - The Special Investigation Division (SID) yesterday refused to comment on a local media report alleging the division had monitored more than one prosecutor in a case of alleged influence-peddling.

A report by local media released on Sunday claims that according to information provided by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), while it was investigating an alleged influence-peddling case involving Ker and Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), the SID also wiretapped prosecutors Lin Shou-tao (林秀濤) and Lee Pai-song (李白松) over the case.

The report says the information provided by Ker suggests that Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) "lied to the public" during an interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in September, in which Huang told legislators that only Lin was monitored in the case.

Earlier in September, Huang held a press conference to reveal the content of phone conversations between Ker and Wang, and said the two and Prosecutor Lin were involved in a case of influence-peddling.

DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) questioned Huang at an interpellation in September on whether the SID had wiretapped more than one prosecutor over the case. Huang answered Gao's question six times, saying that apart from Lin, the SID had not monitored any other prosecutors.

Ker said that after he and his lawyer retrieved information from the Taipei District Prosecutors Office, however, they discovered that the SID had also monitored Prosecutor Lee, and noted that the SID had also retrieved credit card records of Prosecutor Sun Chi-wei (孫冀薇) and Judge Liu Yu-cheng (劉嶽承).

DPP legislators condemned the SID for abusing their surveillance powers, and lashed out at Huang for "telling lies" to the public.

In response, SID spokesperson John Chang (張進豐) said the SID had no comment on the media's report about the monitoring of Lee, maintaining that the SID had only wiretapped Ker and Lin. As for the report claiming that Huang had lied to public, Chang said this was "definitely not the truth."

Chang further noted that all wiretapping operations conducted by the SID were approved by judges, and added that the SID had never violated laws or abused its power.

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