Thu, Nov 06, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Ko camp suspects Lien’s of wiretaps

‘BLABBERMOUTH’ STAFF?After Ko’s side said it thinks Lien’s camp had acquired private information via wire taps, the KMT’s Tsai said Ko’s staff created the leaks

By Loa Iok-sin, Alison Hsiao, Wu Yueh-hsiu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Police investigators yesterday collect items as part of an investigation into the alleged wiretapping of the policy department of independent Taipei mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je’s campaign office on Jianguo S Road in Taipei.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Independent Taipei mayoral candidate Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) campaign office yesterday said it suspects that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Sean Lien’s (連勝文) campaign tapped the Ko camp’s phone lines, demanding to know how the pan-blue side had obtained private internal information about Ko’s campaign.

Ko’s office became suspicious of the rival camp after the executive director of Lien’s campaign, KMT Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元), publicized a list at about 10:40pm on Tuesday that had not yet been made public naming the advisers Ko would have if elected. Soon after the revelation, Ko’s campaign staff announced that they had discovered suspicious electronic devices in the campaign office’s policy department.

The office immediately contacted the police and Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), which promptly sent staff to search the office at about midnight.

“I only learned about what happened when my campaign staff called me a little past 11pm last [Tuesday] night, saying that there may be some problems at our policy department office,” Ko told reporters yesterday morning at a campaign event. “We had already felt that something was wrong last week when Tsai posted a list of my campaign event schedule on Facebook.”

Ko said that the post was suspicious because campaign events are usually scheduled simultaneously by different campaign departments, but these event were tentative, and are only confirmed by a meeting of the top campaign managers.

“I felt it was odd that many of the events included in Tsai’s post had not been approved by the managers,” Ko said. “So when the advisers’ list was exposed, we felt certain that there must be some privacy issues at the policy department office.”

While the main campaign office is on Songjiang Road (松江路), the policy department office is located on Jianguo S Road (建國南路) to avoid the leaking of details of policy meetings.

Ko declined to speak further about the incident, saying that he would leave it to the police and technicians from Chunghwa Telecom to investigate. However, he added that his office would launch its own probe into the incident.

In a separate press conference at Ko’s campaign headquarters, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) and Taipei City Councilor Chien Yu-yen (簡余晏), who serves as Ko’s campaign spokesperson, made public pictures they said showed suspicious wires in the telephone switchboard room on the third floor of the policy department’s building.

They then played reporters a video clip of Chunghwa Telecom technicians saying that the wires found could be used for tapping phone lines, urging Tsai to explain how he obtained so much classified information from Ko’s campaign.

Lee and Chien said the wires were used to tap two numbers — (02)2706-7637 and (02)2706-7655 — used by Ko’s office on the ninth floor of the same building.

Commenting on the issue outside a legislative meeting, National Police Agency Director-General Wang Cho-chiun (王卓鈞) confirmed that the police did discover two wires that could possible be part of phone tapping devices.

However, when asked if he would call the incident a case of illegal telephone tapping, Wang declined to comment, saying that further investigation is required to answer the question.

Nevertheless, some technology companies and private investigators did point to a real possibility that Ko’s office was wiretapped.

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