Investigators from the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office yesterday questioned former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to determine whether he illegally removed boxes of classified government documents from the Presidential Office when he left office in 2008.
Chen Hung-ta (陳宏達), a spokesperson for Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID), said prosecutors summoned the former president from Taipei Prison yesterday morning for questioning.
However, since Chen Shui-bian said he had a stomachache and asked for the session to be held another day, prosecutors only spent one hour questioning him and examining documents with him.
Chen Hung-ta said the former president allegedly took some documents from the Presidential Office because he wanted to write a memoir after leaving office.
Chen Shui-bian’s attorney accompanied him throughout the questioning, the spokesperson said.
SID prosecutors raided the former president’s old office on Guanqian Road in Taipei and his new office on Taipei’s Linyi Street in September 2009 and seized about 60 boxes of files.
More than 10,000 documents among the files were preliminarily identified as “classified” materials after the SID verified them with the Presidential Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National Defense.
The search went ahead after the Presidential Office took legal action to reclaim the documents, saying the former president would have breached security protocols and endangered national security if the boxes contained classified information.
Chen Shui-bian’s office had said the search was politically motivated.
Chen Shui-bian is serving a 17-and-a-half-year prison term on corruption charges and appealing another sentence for bribery.
Additional reporting by CNA