Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) yesterday accused Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) and Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office Head Prosecutor Chen Shou-huang (陳守煌) of illegally lobbying for a lawsuit involving Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘).
Tseng announced his resignation later yesterday.
A spokesman for the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID), Yang Jung-tsung (楊榮宗), told a press conference earlier yesterday that after Ker on June 18 was found not guilty of embezzling funds from Formosa Telecom, he asked Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), a member of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), to lobby Tseng and Chen to use their influence to stop a prosecutor from appealing the case with the Supreme Court.
They influenced Lin Shiow-tao (林秀濤), the prosecutor in charge of Ker’s breach of trust case, and Lin did not appeal the ruling, Yang said, adding that Tseng would be referred to the Control Yuan for an impeachment probe, while Chen would be subject to an administrative evaluation.
Tseng and Chen are not likely to face any criminal charges because they did not receive any kickbacks or other rewards for their lobbying efforts, the SID said.
Huang said in a statement that he was deeply saddened by the influence peddling charges because the two men’s behavior had seriously tarnished the reputation and credibility of the judiciary.
Huang said that as the country’s top prosecutor he was determined to resist improper interference and maintain the independence and impartiality of prosecutors.
Huang said SID prosecutors unexpectedly stumbled upon the alleged irregularities while monitoring Ker’s mobile phone in relation to another case.
After Ker was acquitted in June, he made a telephone call to Chen, asking Chen’s office not to appeal the case, the SID said, adding that Chen then met with Lin and hinted that she should not appeal the case, saying the legislature was concerned about the case and it is in charge of the office’s annual budget.
The SID said that because Ker could not make sure Chen would influence the prosecutor he also asked Wang to lobby for him.
On June 28, Wang made a telephone call to Ker, saying that Chen had mentioned the matter to Tseng and the latter had agreed to handle it, the SID said, adding that on the next day, Wang and Tseng met in New Taipei City (新北市) and Wang later called Ker to say the case had been taken care of.
Both Tseng and Chen denied the accusations
“It is a shame that the SID is accusing people with false facts,” Tseng told a press conference, adding that the SID made the accusations due to “personal resentment.”
Separately yesterday, Chen said he never told the prosecutor not to appeal Ker’s case, while Lin said she decided not to appeal because she found no evidence suggesting irregularities.
Meanwhile, Ker said in a statement that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who also doubles as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman, had manipulated the judiciary to carry out a purge within the KMT.
Wang was on a vacation with his family in Malaysia and did not immediately respond to the allegations.
Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan and CNA
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations