Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) yesterday said she had obtained information from the Ministry of Justice which provided “concrete evidence” that the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID) broke the law by wiretapping DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), who has been involved in a breach of trust case since 2008 and has been at the center of a political crisis involving Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).
Kuan said she had identified three main problems with the SID’s actions. First, the wiretap was not placed until five months after approval was granted. Second, the serial numbers of wiretapping approval applications were not sequential, and third, of the 28 requests for wiretapping approval, nine applied for “extended monitoring,” without specifying who was to be monitored.
The SID continued wiretapping after the second trial in Ker’s case, in which the final ruling was delivered, Kuan said, adding that who the SID was monitoring became “the big question.”
Starting last year, the SID applied for 28 wiretaps.
Kuan said that the wiretap approvals were not in numerical order, and some began with the word jian (監) and others with sheng jian (聲監), adding that the difference between the two was that the former was applied for by the SID, and the latter by the police.
The lack of specification in “extended monitoring” cases was also proof that the SID was operating “out of bounds,” Kuan said.
The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office said yesterday that it had received more than 10 allegations from the public accusing Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) of violating investigation confidentiality by reporting to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) on alleged improper lobbying by Wang to ease the legal pressure on Ker.
Ker was sentenced to six months in prison for violating the Business Accounting Act (商業會計法) in 1997 when he was general manager of Formosa Telecom Investment Co (全民電通). The court allowed the sentence to be commuted into a fine. The ruling was appealed in 2009, but handed back, appealed again last year with the Taiwan Supreme Court, which suggested a retrial at the Taiwan High Court, which found Ker not guilty in June of this year.
The Taipei District Court gave the SID, then looking into the bribery case, permission to wiretap Ker in 2010.
The case against Ker was closed and the wiretap approval rescinded on Sept. 5, but during the period of wiretapping, the SID recorded a conversation between Wang and Ker in which Ker said he hoped the prosecutors would not continue to appeal the case, to which Wang replied that former minister of justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) would take care of it.
The prosecutors’ office said that it would be applying for all paperwork on the wiretapping from the SID and the Taipei District Court to analyze when the criminal case turned into an administrative lawsuit.
The SID closed the investigation into the lobbying case on Sept. 5 and did not press criminal charges against any of the defendants, but suggested that they take administrative responsibility.
Additional reporting by CNA