“We hope that Lien understands that the public has high expectations of a judiciary free from any political influence,” Lo said.
The involvement of a legislative speaker in influence peddling was not something Ma said he could just endure, Lo said.
Ting said Lien was unhappy with how Ma handled the case, referring to Sunday’s press conference where Ma explicitly said Wang had meddled in judicial affairs before Wang had a chance to explain himself.
Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) told a press conference at 10pm that Wang had “avoided” responding to the SID’s accusations.
The investigation conducted by the SID was conducted in line with the law and the Constitution, Huang said, dismissing Wang’s allegations that the SID illegally tapped Ker’s phone and illegally made public the transcript of the wiretapping.
Huang reiterated that the SID has presented “strong evidence,” as shown in the transcript of the wiretapping and communications record between Wang and Tseng, and Wang and Chen, to prove that Wang was involved in the case.
On Friday, the SID disclosed its investigation alleging that Wang had lobbied for Ker in a breach of trust lawsuit.
Lien was quoted by Ting as saying that Ma should not have humiliated Wang because Wang, who has 30-plus years of service in the legislature and as speaker, should be given the basic minimum of respect he deserves.
“Why did Ma quickly jump to conclusions when Wang had not had an opportunity to explain himself, and when the other people involved in the case gave conflicting accounts of the matter and the full picture remained unclear?” Lien was quoted as saying.
Lien urged Ma to handle the case according to the principles of party solidarity, societal harmony and national stability to avoid turmoil, Ting said.
Lo said it was not Ma who had disrespected Wang, “but Wang who did not respect the judiciary.”
“We have to say this: President Ma did not intend to humiliate Wang. Rather, it was Wang who brought shame on the judiciary when he made the phone calls [to Chen and Tseng],” Lo said.
Lo then directed two questions at Lien: “If a legislative speaker is permitted to meddle in a lawsuit and is not held responsible for undermining the credibility of the judicial system which is supposed to defend social justice, will the country still remain stable?” and, “If a legislative speaker is permitted to meddle in a lawsuit and is not held responsible, can the KMT still make itself acceptable to the people and to its members and can the party maintain unity? Could it be that KMT members are willing to unite in a party where influence peddling is permissible?”
Meanwhile, Hung was rumored to be Ma’s first choice to replace Wang as head of the legislature.
A high-level official at the Presidential Office who requested anonymity told reporters last night that the idea of Hung leading the legislature was “not bad,” praising Hung for her “integrity” and “being loyal to the KMT.”
The official said he did not see any reason why the legislature should become dysfunctional without Wang’s leadership.
“Over the past 15 years, the nation has been under stewardship of three presidents. In a democracy, there is no position that must be occupied by a certain person,” he said.
It was rumored that Hung would pair up with KMT Legislator Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池), the party’s Policy Committee chief, in an election for speaker and deputy speaker if Wang were expelled from the party.