Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday pledged loyalty to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) upon his return to Taiwan and accused the Special Investigation Division (SID) of conducting a one-sided investigation into accusations of influence-peddling against him that have “misled” President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
Speaking to hundreds of supporters at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Wang denied that he had interfered with the judiciary and said the division’s investigation and its disclosure and distribution of his telephone records was illegal and unconstitutional.
“I’m back now and ready to give my statement. Hopefully, the president will not be deceived by the unilateral and incorrect information he has been given by the SID,” Wang said.
Wang has been in Malaysia to attend the wedding of one of his daughters since Friday, the day that division announced his alleged misconduct in a press conference.
Responding to the legislative speaker’s statement, presidential spokesperson Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) told a 10pm press conference that Ma “was disappointed with Wang’s statement,” because he had evaded the allegations altogether.
The SID on Friday accused Wang, former minister of justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) and High Prosecutors’ Office Head Prosecutor Chen Shou-huang (陳守煌) of influence peddling on behalf of DPP Legislator Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘).
Tseng subsequently resigned, but insisted he was not guilty.
Ma has described Wang’s alleged influence peddling as “the most shameful day in Taiwan’s democratic history” and the KMT was reportedly mulling expelling Wang, which could strip him of his position as legislative speaker.
Wang called for the committee to “avoid making the same mistake of unilateralism as the SID” when it reviews the case, adding that the division had not questioned him once during the entire investigation.
Wang neither resigned from his post as speaker or KMT member, nor launched any retaliation against Ma or the party.
In his statement, Wang reiterated that he had always been a staunch supporter of the KMT and a member who would do everything to perform his duties.
The telephone conversation with Tseng and Chen that the SID based its accusations on had been about prosecutors’ abuse of power, which was a concern of lawmakers, not a bid to influence an individual case, Wang said.
The senior politician spent a large part of his statement accusing the SID of going beyond its authorization, as the division “was only authorized to probe into corruption cases of the presidents of the five government branches.”
Ker cited Wang’s speech in a separate press release last night as proof that there was no misconduct between the two and called for Ma to apologize for initiating the political turmoil and abolish the SID.
A number of KMT lawmakers, including Deputy Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), showed their support by welcoming Wang at the airport.
Earlier yesterday, Ma said he could “not just sit by” as the case unfolds, because Wang’s alleged misconduct was “intolerable.”
Citing the president’s statements, Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) gave a statement at an impromptu press conference in response to former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰), who had criticized Ma in an angry statement given through his assistant, Ting Yuan-chao (丁遠超).