Wed, Jun 28, 2000 - Page 1 News List

Lawmakers want Pan investigated


Three DPP legislators called yesterday for an investigation into the unlawful trip to China of a retired intelligence official, saying he might threaten Taiwan's national security.

Pan Hsi-hsien (潘希賢), the just-retired Director of Personnel and General Affairs at the National Security Bureau, visited China on June 4, only seventy-two hours after retiring. Though it is unknown whether he is still in China, information from Taiwan businessmen in China confirms that the former senior official has been seen in Guangdong.

According to Taiwan regulations, any individual who has held an official post involving national security -- including defense, intelligence, and security agencies -- is required to get government approval before traveling to China up to three years after retirement.

Pan, whose China trip was disclosed only last Wednesday by a KMT legislator, left Taiwan before the NSB had informed immigration authorities of his retirement. As a result, the immigration authorities were unable to prevent the trip.

DPP legislators Chang Ching-fang (張清芳), Wang Hsing-nan (王幸男), and Wang Li-ping (王麗萍), visited the Control Yuan yesterday, requesting the official watchdog carry out an investigation into Pan's breach of security regulations.

The legislators said they were worried that Pan, with his extensive knowledge of the nation's secret files, might leak information about Taiwan's intelligence operations.

"He knows exactly who's who among the country's intelligence agents, and where, both in Taiwan and China, they're deployed. If by any chance he leaks such information to China, the consequences will be disastrous," Wang said, underlining the seriousness of Pan's unlawful actions to Control Yuan member Frank Liao (廖健男).

Regulations concerning visits to China by Taiwan nationals were amended as recently as March this year to lay down rules applying to those whose work involves national security.

The responsible authority, the Ministry of the Interior, should have informed other government agencies of the changes following the passing of the amendments. NSB officials, however, said they have still not received notification from the ministry.

The legislators said former Minister of the Interior Huang Chu-wen (黃主文) was to blame for this, and requested that the Control Yuan investigate his "negligence."

They said that it was a matter of concern that Pan had apparently entered China with ease as the Chinese authorities often seek to prevent the entry of retired Taiwan government officials, suspecting that they might be on intelligence-gathering missions.

"Given his senior position in the NSB, we are even more concerned about why he is there," said Chang.

Chang also said that sources had told him that Pan had been upset about being forced to retire by his supervisor, who had discovered his involvement in an extra-marital affair.

"We're worried that he might attempt to harm the country as a consequence," Chang said.

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