The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday said that it does not rule out the possibility of requesting evidence from the Australian Attorney-General’s Department to corroborate allegations made by self-confessed Chinese spy William Wang Liqiang (王立強).
Taipei and Canberra do not have a mutual judicial assistance agreement, but the office can request the information on a case-by-case basis.
The office yesterday questioned China Innovation Investment Ltd (中國創新投資) executive director Xiang Xin (向心) and his wife, acting director Kung Ching (龔青), for more than two hours, reasserting that it has jurisdiction over the case.
Photo: Huang Chieh, Taipei Times
After questioning on Tuesday, the couple was barred from leaving the nation over an alleged breach of the National Security Act (國家安全法).
Xiang and Kung were detained on Sunday as they prepared to board a flight at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, after Wang claimed he was recruited by Xiang to take part in espionage operations in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Wang said that before the handover of Hong Kong from Britain, Xiang received orders from high-ranking officials in the Chinese military to acquire two listed companies in Hong Kong, which were to serve as top intelligence apparatuses in Hong Kong and Taiwan under the guise of the integration of civil-military development and communications.
Wang said that in 2014, he started working at China Innovation Investment and was asked by Xiang to teach Kung painting, adding that after gaining Xiang’s trust, he played the role of “middleman” in espionage operations.
China Innovation Investment on Sunday denied Wang’s allegations, saying that it never hired him.
Xiang denied Wang’s allegations, saying that he did not recognize Wang, but that he travels to Taiwan nearly every month and often meets with businesspeople in search of investment opportunities.
Xiang admitted to spending more than NT$100 million (US$3.28 million) a few years ago to purchase two units in the Kingdom of Global View (冠德遠見) apartment complex in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義).
As the apartments are not registered in Xiang’s or Kung’s name, prosecutors said they followed the flow of money to verify the claim.
Asked about having jurisdiction over the case, the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday said that there is no doubt that it has jurisdiction, because Xiang and Kung’s operations, place of residence and purchased real estate are all in Taipei.
Citing Article 4 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (刑事訴訟法) — which states that “a district court has jurisdiction over the first instance of a criminal case, but the high court has jurisdiction over the first instance of an offense against internal security or external security of the state, and interference with relations with other states” — the office said that it has jurisdiction over a case involving alleged breaches of the act.
The case of Chinese People’s Liberation Army intelligence officer Zhen Xiaojiang (鎮小江), who was convicted in 2015 of contravening the act, is an example of its jurisdiction, the office said.
Due to the nature of the investigation, it would not be publicizing information about the case, it said.
The Chinese-language Apple Daily yesterday reported that the couple could have used the three properties in Taipei as bases for infiltrating Taiwan.
Additional reporting by CNA
There was a net reduction last year in the number of Taipei residents and this year is expected to set a 23-year high for population decline in the city, Ministry of the Interior statistics released yesterday showed. From January to last month, 18,861 more people moved out of Taipei than moved into the capital, an increase of 7,000 from the same period last year, the data showed. That is a 7.2 percent decrease in the city’s population since the start of the year, the biggest drop in both percentage and total number among all municipalities and counties nationwide, the data showed. The data
COUNCILS CLASH: The Mainland Affairs Council said a new office in Hong Kong is to assist people with issues related to investment, study and employment in Taiwan The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday denied an accusation by the Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Co-operation and Promotion Council that its Taiwanese counterpart in the territory was “interfering with Hong Kong’s internal affairs.” The Hong Kong council leveled the accusation after Taipei’s Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council this month announced it would establish a Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office to facilitate humanitarian aid for Hong Kongers. The new office is scheduled to begin operations on Wednesday. The MAC yesterday asked the Hong Kong council to “not misinterpret” the government’s intentions. The two Taiwan-Hong Kong councils were established in 2010 to
IRRESPONSIBLE ATTITUDES? Some experts say the NHI system does not do enough to educate the public, or pay doctors to talk to patients, about healthy lifestyles While the life expectancy of Taiwanese newborns in 2018 reached 80.69 years, the number of years people spent in poor health hit a record high at 8.41 years, Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics showed on Saturday. Healthy life expectancy is calculated by a person’s life expectancy minus the time they spend in ill health, such as the loss of mobility, disabilities and chronic disease, based on medical records and calculations about the years they live with disabilities. The number of years that Taiwanese spend in poor health is increasing slowly, but steadily, rising by 0.46 years, or five-and-a-half months, between 2012
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in