Wed, Feb 22, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Ker urges Ma Ying-jeou to plead guilty

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Former president Ma Ying-jeou arrives at the Taipei District Court yesterday.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) should admit to his part in the 2013 illegal wiretapping case so that he can maintain his dignity, Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said yesterday at a hearing at the Taipei District Court.

Ker and Ma attended what was expected to be the final hearing of the case, with Ker the plaintiff and Ma the defendant.

“It has been three years since this case started. This is the most crucial time in the hearing. Taiwan must make a departure from the past. This is a watershed moment,” Ker said. “We must defend the Constitution. It will be a historic judgement to terminate authoritarian rule by the secret police and the state intelligence apparatus.”

“This is a landmark case for Taiwanese to strive for judicial reform and a nation upholding due process,” Ker said. “In the two prior hearings, Ma could not defend himself. He placed blame on his personal secretary and [then-prosecutor-general] Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘).”

Ker said he is confident he would win the case.

“I urge Ma to admit his guilt so that he can maintain his dignity,” Ker said.

Ma declined to comment outside the hearing yesterday.

Ma has been accused of contravening the Criminal Code, the Communication Security and Surveillance Act (通訊監察保護法) and the Personal Information Protection Act (個人資料保護法) in connection with a 2013 case when Huang investigated allegations of improper political lobbying by wiretapping telephone conversations between Ker and then-legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

Ker accused Ma of asking Huang to disclose details of the ongoing investigation and then leaking the confidential information to then-premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and then-Presidential Office spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) in September 2013.

Ma conducted a live broadcast to the KMT’s Evaluation and Disciplinary Committee members on Sept. 11, 2013, accusing Ker of political lobbying and called on members to oust Wang, which led to a power struggle and attempted purges in what became known as the “September strife.”

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