National Security Bureau (NSB) chief Shi Hwei-yow (許惠祐) said yesterday that national security officials had not illegally monitored the opposition parties.
"Illegal monitoring violates criminal law and can lead to a maximum of five years in prison. I do not believe a government official would take such a risk," Shi told reporters at the legislature yesterday.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has accused the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of misusing the nation's security resources to secure intelligence about a secret meeting between KMT vice presidential candidate Vincent Siew (
PHOTO: WANG MIN-WEI, TAIPEI TIMES
Shi said the accusations were groundless.
Siew allegedly warned Burghardt that the DPP was planning to destabilize the elections.
The meeting was not known about until last Friday when DPP Legislator Sandy Yen (莊和子) told local reporters that Siew and Burghardt had met for an hour on Dec. 8.
Chief of the Ministry of Justice's Investigation Bureau, Yeh Sheng-mao (
He told reporters at the legislature that his bureau did not illegally monitor opposition parties or their politicians.
He said the bureau only conducts monitoring related to criminal investigations and in cases were permission was granted by a judge.
Despite the NSB's denial, the pan-blue camp continued with the accusations. When approached by reporters, KMT Legislator Hung Hsiu-chu (
"Only the government authorities could conduct large-scale wiretapping using high-tech equipment," she said.
Calling the leak an example of "green terror," Hung said she felt horrified by the leak.
KMT Legislator Chiu Yi (
"It is a setback for democracy if [the government] did resort to wiretapping, stalking and manipulation of the opposition," he said.
When asked for comment, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), a KMT member, said it was "possible" that the nation's intelligence agencies had resorted to phone tapping the KMT.
"We cannot say for sure because we are unable to identify the specific process [of the tapping], but wiretapping is really abused in Taiwan," Wang said. "If the accusation proves to be true, this would be a serious political incident."
Meanwhile, Ma's campaign office dismissed media speculation that the leak was an inside job.
"Leaks of internal documents have occurred before and we still do not know how ... we will continue to enhance our information security," spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) said.
Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (
"You know, I personally have never done such a thing [eavesdropping]," he said.
Meanwhile, Chang was evasive about whether the administration would take legal action against the KMT in order to reclaim its stolen assets. He emphasized that the related government agencies were planning to take the necessary steps to deal with the matter, saying that he expected them to formulate an appropriate plan.
Chang said the DPP had encountered many difficulties regarding the recovery of the KMT's stolen assets, including several failed attempts to enact a law forcing the KMT to return its improperly acquired party assets to the nation's treasury.
Additional reporting by Ko Shu-ling
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