Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) came under fire in the legislature yesterday over his handling of Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng’s (王金平) case.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) and Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信) proposed abolishing the Special Investigation Division (SID) of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office. The bill was reviewed in a meeting of the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee yesterday.
Huang, who attended the meeting, was under fire by legislators over his handling of Wang’s case.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Liao Cheng-ching (廖正井) said Huang violated the law by wiretapping DPP Legislator Ker Chien-ming’s (柯建銘) telephone and reporting the case to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
“I absolutely support the bill abolishing the SID,” Liao said, becoming the first KMT legislator to back the proposal.
“How long have you wiretapped me?” Ker asked Huang. “How could you violate the Communication Security and Surveillance Act (通訊保障及監察法) by wiretapping me and releasing my phone transcripts to the public?”
“Other legislators and I all suspected we have been wiretapped for years,” Ker said.
“The monitoring of Ker’s telephone was authorized by the Taipei District Court, starting on May 16 and finishing on Sept. 5,” Huang said.
“As the SID said before, the case originated when we probed bribery allegations involving former Taiwan High Court judge Chen Jung-ho (陳榮和). We found Ker might be involved and wiretapped Ker’s phone in accordance with the law,” he said.
“How many times have you violated the law by reporting on the investigation to President Ma?” Ker asked Huang.
“I went to Ma’s residence twice to report on the matter involving Wang. The first time was on Aug. 31 and the second was on Sept. 1,” Huang said.
“I reported to President Ma after the investigation was finished and I concluded it was only administrative misconduct,” Huang said.
“Because public figures at the highest level were involved in the lobbying, I had the responsibility to report it to the head of the state,” Huang said, citing Article 44 of the Constitution, which stipulates how the president must handle a consultation in case of disputes between two or more branches of government.
Huang also revealed that the SID wiretapped Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office Prosecutor Lin Shiow-tao (林秀濤) during the investigation.
The alleged misconduct was raised by the SID at a press conference on Sept. 6, during which it said that Ker, after being found not guilty on June 18 of embezzling funds from Formosa Telecom Investment Co (全民電通) in 1997, allegedly asked Wang to lobby then-minister of justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) and Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office Head Prosecutor Chen Shou-huang (陳守煌) to use their influence to persuade Lin not to appeal the case with the Supreme Court.