The former director of the National Security Bureau's (NSB) special service center, Peng Tzu-wen (彭子文), was reported to have received a stern lecture from a High Court judge yesterday when he appeared in court for a trial in which he is accused of leaking national secrets.
"Try not to be so talkative, because you are a military official," Judge Wang Fu-shing (王復生) was quoting as saying by Chinese-language newspapers, in his remarks to Peng.
When Peng's lawyer referred to Peng as "the general" in the courtroom, the judge snapped, "no titles of office are allowed in my court."
Peng and his lawyer seemed visibly shocked by the judge's outburst, the report said.
Peng was indicted in August for leaking national secrets and for potentially putting President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) life in jeopardy, after he disclosed details concerning the deployment of special agents around the president's official residence.
Peng has since been a frequent guest on TV talk shows, using his professional knowledge. He revealed on air details concerning the deployment of special agents' and other plans regarding national emergencies.
Peng told the public that the Presidential Office and the Ministry of National Defense's underground channels would be open on the October 10th National Day, and that two helicopters would be on standby at the Taipei military airport in case of an emergency.
Peng also revealed on TV that he would not "take a bullet for president Chen." Peng is alleged to have leaked the secrets in retaliation after being turned down for promotion. Peng retired as the director of the NSB's special service center in 2003.
Prosecutors have accused Peng of violating the National Secrets Law (國家機密保護辦法).
Peng yesterday told the judge that the NSB and Justice Ministry's Investigation Bureau had illegally recorded his phone calls and that this evidence should be inadmissible in court.