Sat, Aug 23, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office to probe Chang case

FOCUS SHIFT:Allegations that the former Mainland Affairs Council deputy minister spied for China would be probed for any offenses, excluding any matters of national security

By Chien Li-chung and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office spokesman Huang Mou-hsin talks to the press at the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chen Wei-tzum Taipei Times

The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday reviewed data from the Ministry of Justice’s Bureau of Investigation (MJIB) concerning allegations that former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) deputy minister Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) has been acting as a spy. The prosecutors agreed to take charge of an investigation of the matter, despite the same data being turned down by the Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office on Thursday.

Taipei District Prosecutors started investigations into the case yesterday.

According to sources, Chang has been barred from leaving the country and prosecutors will subpoena him for questioning soon.

The difference between the High Prosecutors’ Office prosecuting the case and the District Prosecutors’ Office prosecuting the case is criminal activity related to national security offenses if taken by the former, and meaning the alleged offense would exclude national security offenses if taken by the latter.

Chang has recently been in the spotlight over allegations that he had leaked sensitive information to Chinese officials.

According to sources, Chang had allegedly leaked five pieces of information on cross-strait economics and trade, as well as on the cross-strait trade services agreement.

The Mainland Affairs Council alleged that Chang divulged “confidential” and “secret” information.

Under the National Security Information Protection Act (國家安全機密保護法), restricted information is given three designations: top secret, secret and confidential.

The source also said Chang was suspected of having leaked information about Executive Yuan meetings, which may give a court cause to call Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) to testify.

The prosecutors’ office said it suspected Chang had leaked the information by telling his alleged Chinese contact personally or by passing the contact notes, allowing the Chinese government to learn what Taiwan had brought to the negotiation table and where it would falter.

The bureau’s information showed Chang is suspected of conducting treasonous actions, which would usually place his alleged actions under the jurisdiction of the High Prosecutors’ Office, the District Prosecutors’ Office said.

However, it added that the High Prosecutors’ Office had declined to head the investigation, citing a lack of evidence that the information Chang allegedly leaked was affiliated with national security.

The High Prosecutors’ Office also said that if Chang is charged with dereliction of duty concerning foreign affairs, such charges are only applicable to foreign governments, while the government does not consider relations across the Taiwan Strait to be between nations, based on its “one China” policy.

Separately, lawyer Lin Chun-feng (林俊峰) said that the reason offenses infringing on external security of the nation were placed under the jurisdiction of the High Prosecutors’ Office was that national security matters merited immediate legal attention.

The High Prosecutors’ Office oversees all second trials, which means that once it headed the investigation and oversaw the indictment, the case would go straight through the second and third trials, Lin said.

The nation may have crumbled to the ground by the time the arduous legal processes from initial trial to the third trial are finished with, Lin said.

Additional reporting by CNA

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