Mon, Nov 14, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Investigation exposes politics inside the MJIB

TAINTED INVESTIGATIONS?The ongoing probe into the kaohsiung mrt scandal and the associated leaks have caused some to question the propriety of the bureau

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

While the Ministry of Justice's Investigation Bureau (MJIB) has claimed its duty is to probe crime and never to get involved in politics, the recent investigation into the Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corp (KRTC) scandal and its fallout seem to indicate that a pan-blue bias exists within some sections of the bureau.

A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator, Huang Chao-hui (黃昭輝), last week criticized MJIB Director Yeh Sheng-mao (葉盛茂) for being "unable to control [his] staff," and the DPP government of failing "to control the bureau" during a legislative meeting. MJIB agents are suspected of leaking information regarding the KRTC scandal investigation to independent Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅), who has publicized the leaks.

A lead prosecutor at the Kaohsiung Bureau of the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office, Chang Hsueh-ming (張學明), told the Taipei Times that he has never before seen legislators or members of the media pressuring prosecutors to deepen a criminal investigation in the way that is occurring in the current KRTC probe.

Since the KRTC scandal began in August, Chiu has obtained a lot of sensitive information about the scandal. Chiu's revelations regarding the former deputy secretary-general to the Presidential Office Chen Che-nan's (陳哲男) foreign trips to Thailand, Vietnam and South Korea, and the suspicious circumstances surrounding Hwang Chang Building Co's winning of the MRT construction bid have hogged headlines.

Kaohsiung prosecutors in charge of the investigation have either rushed to question the people mentioned by Chiu, or confirmed to the media that they have already spoken to them.

More than one source

Chiu's sources are thought to be from more than one place, and prosecutors believe that some of his revelations have come directly from MJIB agents.

Before President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) criticized the KRTC scandal investigators last week for leaking details to specific lawmakers, the Minister of Justice, Morley Shih (施茂林), and the State Public Prosecutor General Wu Ying-chao (吳英昭) had been busy trying to find out the identity of "Deep Throat," the media's name for the source of the leak. Last week, the MJIB director Yeh told legislators that he has visited the MJIB's Kaohsiung branch several times to learn about the matter, and that he has formed a task force to probe whether agents are leaking confidential information to specific lawmakers.

A senior prosecutor from Kaohsiung, who asked not to be named, told the Taipei Times that there is a strong network of pan-blue support within the MJIB. This is a result of the bureau's previous role as the tool with which the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration controlled society and monitored its opponents.

The prosecutor believes that while investigators have found concrete evidence that Chen Che-nan was involved in wrongdoing, prosecutors have been reluctant or had delayed summoning people for questioning due to political considerations. Some renegade MJIB agents therefore decided to leak the information and force the prosecutors and the government to speed up the investigation.

The prosecutor added that due to the seriousness of the charges, pan-blue supporters within the bureau believe that the scandal could seriously damage the DPP government giving the pan-blue camp a political advantage.

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