Wed, May 17, 2017 - Page 3 News List

DPP’s Ker retains judge grudge

MA TRIAL TAKE TWO:The lawmaker said the judge’s explanation of the March 28 verdict was untenable, as Ma Ying-jeou’s guilt was evident, despite a lack of audio

By Hsieh Chun-lin, Huang Hsin-po and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Former president Ma Ying-jeou talks to reporters at the Taiwan High Court in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) accused a judge of being former President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) defense attorney as the second trial over alleged breach of confidence by Ma began yesterday.

Ker said that the judge in the first trial should not have ruled in Ma’s favor in the case, which stems from Ker’s accusation that Ma breached judicial independence by instructing then-prosecutor general Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) to provide information regarding an ongoing investigation.

The investigation, conducted by the now-defunct Special Investigation Division, was probing allegations that Ker and then-legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) were involved in improper use of influence.

Ma is accused of soliciting Huang to break confidentiality when the former president invited him to the presidential residence on Sept. 1, 2013, to report on the investigation, Ker’s lawyer Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) said.

Ker said the judge’s explanation of the March 28 verdict was untenable.

Ker said Ma’s guilt was evident, but he was acquitted because there was no audio recording of him giving the order.

The verdict of the second trial will be final.

Ma is also accused of a second count of soliciting a breach in confidentiality by asking Huang Shih-ming on Sept. 4, 2013, to brief Jiang on the investigation, Huang Di-ying said.

The two cases have been divided into separate suits, with the Sept. 1, 2013, incident sparking a lawsuit by Ker, while the Sept. 4, 2013, incident prompted a public prosecution by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office.

The Taiwan High Court sentenced Huang Shih-ming to one year and three months in prison in February 2015 for breach of confidentiality, which was commuted into a fine of NT$457,000.

Ma was summoned to stand trial this year, as he had immunity against prosecution during his time as president.

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