President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) never instructed the Ministry of Justice to preserve the Special Investigation Division (SID) in his capacity as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman, the party said yesterday, dismissing allegations made in the latest edition of the Chinese-language Next Magazine.
In a story published yesterday, the weekly said that Ma had sent a letter from the KMT chairman’s office to the ministry in October last year, in which he said that the SID has more advantages than disadvantages, and that the ministry should not abolish the division amid controversies over its wiretapping practices.
KMT spokesman Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) said the party’s think tank — the National Policy Foundation — researched whether the unit should be scrapped last year and sent a report to the ministry in October for reference after Ma reviewed it.
“The KMT often sends the think tank’s research reports to different government bodies for reference. The SID report was one such case, it was not an instruction [from the KMT chairman],” Yang said.
The issue of the unit’s abolishment emerged in the wake of the so-called “September strife” between Ma and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) last year.
During the strife, it was discovered that the division had placed the telephone numbers of people in unrelated cases under a single wiretapping warrant amid an investigation that yielded allegations that Wang had improperly lobbied prosecutors not to appeal a non-guilty verdict handed down to Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘).
The president has denied playing a role in the investigation into Wang’s alleged improper lobbying and has dismissed allegations that he instructed Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) to look into the case and remove Wang from his post.