Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) yesterday fought back against allegations that the Special Investigation Division (SID) he leads served as President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) executioner in an influence peddling case involving several prominent politicians.
The label of “political hatchet man” was “absolutely unacceptable” and one to which “I strongly object,” Huang said.
The SID “deserved applause” for its discovery of “the biggest influence-peddling scandal in [the nation’s] judicial history,” he said.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
“If I had passed over the information obtained by wiretapping on June 28 and June 29, questions would have been raised that we [SID] had tried to cover up [the alleged irregularities] and that I had neglected my duty,” he said.
The wiretaps on Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming’s (柯建銘) telephone on those two days led the SID to allege that Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), in response to a request from Ker, lobbied in regards to a legal case against Ker.
The SID alleged that Wang asked then-minister of justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) and Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office Head Prosecutor Chen Shou-huang (陳守煌) to urge a prosecutor not to appeal Ker’s acquittal in an embezzlement case stemming from 1997 to the Supreme Court. Ker was indicted in 2008.
At the press conference, Huang took 25 minutes to deliver an eight-point statement refuting criticisms against the SID’s probe, calling the case “the biggest influence-peddling scandal in judicial history” five times.
It is “regrettable” that Tseng and Chen both had tried to divert attention away from the influence-peddling allegation by saying that it was the result of “[my] personal animosity [against Tseng],” Huang said.
“I truly felt that the way they had behaved made them look like politicians who always term whatever charges are brought against them as ‘political persecutions’ to attack the credibility of the judiciary,” he said.
Prosecutors have presented “strong evidence” to prove that Tseng and Chen have both meddled in the case, Huang said, dismissing the criticism that there was no evidence the two men were involved in the decision by Lin Shiow-tao (林秀濤), the prosecutor in charge of Ker’s case, not to appeal the not-guilty verdict.
“Direct evidence was not necessarily needed,” Huang said.
Huang refuted the DPP’s claim that the wiretapping of Ker’s phone was conducted without due process, saying the SID had sought permission in advance from the Taipei District Court.
The SID did not tap Wang’s phones, Huang said.
Huang said he had reported the case to Ma, at the president’s residence, on Aug. 31, six days before the SID announcement on Friday last week, because the alleged involvement of the legislative speaker and the minister of justice minister would have massive ramifications.
‘EFFECTIVE DETERRENCE’: If the Biden administration suspends arms sales to Taiwan, the military could still ready a nimble fighting force for defense, an analyst said The “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” last week sparked debate among analysts after US President Donald Trump declassified the document 20 years ahead of schedule. Trump on Tuesday last week released the document that had governed US strategic action in the region since the US leader approved its use in 2018. The document, which outlines US priorities in the region, emphasizes the importance of defending Taiwan against military aggression and facilitating the country’s development of asymmetric strategies and capabilities. The overall directive of the document is for the US to prevent China from establishing sustained air and sea dominance inside the first
SECOND RULING: Israeli-American Oren Shlomo Mayer refused to sign a court transcript, complained about the court translator and said the trial had been unfair The High Court yesterday upheld New Taipei City District Court’s verdicts on four men convicted last year in connection with the 2018 murder and dismemberment of a Canadian citizen on the banks of the Sindian River (新店溪). It found American-Israeli Oren Shlomo Mayer and American Ewart Odane Bent guilty of homicide and the abandonment and destruction of a corpse, with Mayer sentenced to life in prison and Bent given a term of 12 years and six months, for the death of Sanjay Ryan Ramgahan, whose body parts were found in a riverside park under Zhongzheng Bridge in New Taipei’s Yonghe
ALLEVIATING FEARS: The CECC would only announce public places where it is difficult to identify everyone there at the same time as the couple, minister Chen said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced six places where two locally infected COVID-19 cases had visited between Thursday last week and Sunday, urging people who had been at the places at the same time to monitor their health. The couple, cases 838, a doctor, and 839, his nurse girlfriend, were reported by the center on Tuesday. The doctor had treated a patient with COVID-19 last week before he began suffering symptoms on Friday, while the nurse began suffering symptoms on Saturday. They work in the same hospital in northern Taiwan, but the nurse had not worked with COVID-19 patients, so
A legislator yesterday called for authorities to investigate the sale of Chinese-made, Internet-connected karaoke machines containing “propaganda songs.” Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said she was approached by a person who had discovered Chinese patriotic songs such as My Motherland (我的祖國) — which is commonly referred to as China’s “second national anthem” — in Chinese-made karaoke devices sold in Taiwan. The machines are popular, as they can connect to the Internet, providing access to thousands of songs, she said. One retailer, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the machines first entered the local market about three years ago, starting with