Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) insiders who yesterday said they were left in the dark over Saturday’s planned meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in Singapore expressed suspicion of Ma’s motives, which they said could be related to the president’s legal situation.
Since the arrangement of the Ma-Xi meeting was concealed from most of the KMT’s top officials, the news disturbed many of them, sources said.
Sources said that over the past few days, Ma has met with several legal advisers to discuss cases he could face once his presidential term ends in May next year.
One legal adviser said that upon leaving office, Ma would likely face some major lawsuits.
These include litigation related to last year’s conviction of then-prosecutor-general Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) for illegally leaking confidential information to Ma and then-premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) during a judicial probe in 2013 on alleged use of improper influence by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).
On Aug. 31, 2013, Huang informed Ma of alleged lobbying involving Wang, then-Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), former minister of justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) and former High Prosecutors’ Office head prosecutor Chen Shou-huang (陳守煌).
The Special Investigation Division (SID) of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office was investigating Ker on suspicion he had intervened in a bribery indictment against High Court judge Chen Jung-ho (陳榮和).
The SID applied for and received a warrant, issued by the Taipei District Court, to wiretap telephone lines at the legislature from June through September 2013.
During that period, the SID’s wiretapping reportedly overheard conversation between Ker and Wang that dealt with litigation involving Formosa Telecom Investment Co (全民電通), which allegedly included discussions aimed at persuading prosecutors not to appeal a not-guilty decision in the Ker case.
Huang, heading up the SID office at the time, took the wiretap information and reported it in person to Ma.
Huang was convicted of leaking confidential information and given a 14-month jail term by the Taipei District Court.
On Feb. 12, the guilty verdict was upheld by the Taiwan High Court, which found Huang contravened the Communication Security and Surveillance Act (通訊保障及監察法) by disclosing details of the judicial investigation along with wiretap information to Ma and Jiang.
The ruling was final, though it could be commuted to a fine.
In its aftermath, Ma was charged with leaking confidential information and other related offenses, and the criminal prosecution and judicial proceedings against Ma are to take place after his term finishes.
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