Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday raised questions about the Special Investigation Division (SID) of the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office’s claims that it only wiretapped the legislature by mistake, saying that a story carried in yesterday’s Chinese-language Next Magazine suggested otherwise.
The Ministry of Justice set up a task force to investigate the wiretapping controversy after it was revealed on Sept. 28 that the legislature’s switchboard number had been put under surveillance.
Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) later apologized for what he called a “mix-up” on the SID’s part, saying the unit mistakenly wiretapped the switchboard’s number, thinking it was a cellphone number used by an aide to DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), who was the subject of its probe.
The Next Magazine report said that the task force had found that the SID had called the switchboard’s number in late May.
Ker yesterday said that if the report is true, it would mean that the SID was lying when it said it did not know that the number was a Legislative Yuan telephone line.
Ker added that hours before Huang made his apology on Sept. 28, an SID spokesman had denied that the tapped number was the Legislative Yuan’s switchboard.
When grilled about the issue by Ker at a meeting of the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee yesterday, Minister of Justice Lo Ying-shay (羅瑩雪) said she did not know anything about it.
When asked by several lawmakers whether the task force would publicize its investigation result, Lo said she did not have any information on that issue either.
“I can’t interfere with the investigation. The investigation is totally independent. Its result does not require my approval,” she said.
DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) slammed the task force as a “one-person investigation team” because only task force convener Vice Minister of Justice Tsai Pi-yu (蔡碧玉) can interview Huang, SID prosecutors and Investigation Bureau wiretapping experts, while the other 10 members can only offer their opinions.