Control Yuan Secretary-General Chen Feng-yi (陳豐義) should not only be impeached, but should also be investigated over his destruction of national files that legally should have been kept intact in perpetuity or were not yet eligible for termination, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said on Wednesday.
Chen was impeached last month by the Control Yuan for destroying documents in violation of the Archives Act (檔案法).
The opposition party’s comments came in the wake of a recent edition of Next Magazine, which carried an article claiming that the government files Chen destroyed in 2011 included an explicit order to terminate the investigation reports on the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) assets.
DPP Legislator Yeh Yi-chin (葉宜津) said that if the magazine’s claims were true, Chen had made the party his topmost priority and disregarded national welfare, in which case impeachment was too light a punishment.
Chen’s actions were another way of helping the KMT encroach upon and getting to own property and assets that should rightfully belong to the government, Yeh said.
The Control Yuan should, in accordance with Article 15 of the Control Yuan Act (監察法), transfer the case to the judicial authorities, Yeh said.
He also called upon Control Yuan President Wang Chien-shien (王建煊) to remain impartial and not take the side of Chen and the KTM as far as party assets are concerned.
DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said Wang’s response to Chen’s impeachment on Wednesday was saddening.
According to Wang, the files Chen had terminated had simply been accumulated advertisement flyers, useless books and magazines, and excess copies of documents or letters.
“Are the information and investigation reports about the KMT’s party assets advertisement flyers?” Huang said, adding that if Wang was not present when the files were destroyed, he could not know whether or not Chen had ulterior motives when he burned the files.
The Control Yuan should turn the investigation of the case over to the judicial authorities, Huang said that even if the Control Yuan does not turn the investigation of the case over to the judicial authorities, the Judicial Yuan is entitled to step in because the case is an alleged violation of Article 138 of the Criminal Code, which states that judicial authorities may step in to investigate when civil servants are suspected of destroying official documents in their care.
The people are entitled to know who, what party, or what case Chen was attempting to cover up by destroying the official documents, Huang said.
In response, the Control Yuan said it has nine data archives, and all archived data are subject to close scrutiny and meticulous filing.
Most of the files destroyed by Chen were filed in the first and second data archives, it said, adding that no data nor documents on KMT party assets were in those archives.
No data file on the party asset investigation has been terminated and they are still available for viewing, the Control Yuan said.