Thu, Jan 15, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Prosecutors investigate Presidential Office staffer

A DAY AT THE OFFICE A spokesman said after Taipei prosecutors searched the office of specialist Wang Ren-bing, they left with four envelopes of documents

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei District Court yesterday detained a presidential staff member for questioning on suspicion of leaking national secrets, Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said yesterday, marking the first time prosecutors have conducted a search at the Presidential Office.

Wang said that Chief Prosecutor Huang Mo-hsin (黃謀信) of the Taipei District Court arrived at the Presidential Office with a warrant yesterday morning to search the office of specialist Wang Ren-bing (王仁炳) of the Department of Special Affairs. They left with four envelopes of documents, Wang Yu-chi said.

Wang Ren-bing was suspected of leaking documents concerning the handover of power to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) from former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) around March or April last year, Wang Yu-chi said, adding that Wang Ren-bing might have broken the National Security Act (國家安全法).

Wang Yu-chi declined to comment on exactly what “national security” was leaked to whom and suggested the media ask the Taipei District Court for more details.

Wang Yu-chi said that the National Security Bureau first informed the Presidential Office of the matter a few days ago.

The Taipei District Court then obtained the consent of Presidential Office Secretary-General Chan Chun-po (詹春柏) to conduct the search yesterday. Prosecutors first went to Wang Ren-bing’s apartment and then came with him to the Presidential Office, he said.

Wang said that Huang began working at the Presidential Office in 2001 in the office of former deputy secretary-general Chen Che-nan’s (陳哲男). After Chen Che-nan’s departure, Wang Yu-chi said Wang Ren-bing continued to work at the office of the deputy secretary-general under Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) and Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍).

Wang Ren-bing then asked for a transfer to the Department of Special Affairs in April last year after the Democratic Progressive Party lost the presidential election in March, said an official at the Presidential Office, who asked to remain anonymous.

The official said that the documents Wang Ren-bing had allegedly leaked had something to do with national security, but he declined to offer more details.

Wang Yu-chi yesterday said that to prevent similar occurrences, the office would conduct an overall examination of the management of the filing system and regular monitoring of the moral conduct of new staff members. The Presidential Office will also mete out harsh punishments to anyone who leaks information, he said.

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