Sat, Jul 20, 2019 - Page 2 News List

MJIB official under probe for spreading misinformation

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

A top official at the Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau (MJIB) is under investigation by the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) for allegedly circulating misinformation.

MJIB Kaohsiung office deputy director Yan Cheng-yi (顏正義) and several other people last week reportedly disseminated a social media post that contained misinformation about Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).

CIB officials said Yan is under investigation for breaches of the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法) and has been summoned for questioning.

Yan earlier this month also circulated a post criticizing President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the government about the legalization of same-sex marriage, the probe found.

Denouncing Tsai and the government for promoting same-sex marriage, Yan said it would “bring AIDS to Taiwan and create big business opportunities for some companies.”

He insinuated that “85 percent of people afflicted with AIDS are gay men, and Taiwan’s national health insurance would have to pay for all their medical treatment, so it is a big profit generator for a biotech company controlled by Tsai.”

In the second post, Yan allegedly circulated a video showing Su putting down a pen in a “disdainful manner” after signing a guest book at what it claimed was the funeral of railway police officer Lee Cheng-han (李承翰), who was stabbed to death on July 3 by a passenger.

It was accompanied by a message that said: “This is the funeral of a fallen officer. If you did not want to be there, you did not have to go. Why did you display such arrogance, throwing the pen in anger?”

The video contained misleading information to smear the premier, as the date and location were transplanted from another event: Su was attending a funeral in Pingtung County for a friend’s mother, the investigation found.

Su’s office said that throwing a pen after signing one’s name at a funeral was a custom in his hometown.

The gesture is meant to avert bad luck and other unfortunate events, such as the death of a loved one, it said.

Yan was instrumental in disseminating the video through Line and other social media networks, but it had originated from a 47-year-old software engineer surnamed Chan (詹), who has said he is a supporter of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the investigation found.

Veteran media figure and commentator Wang Ruei-de (王瑞德) said the judiciary must come down hard on Yan because “the MJIB is the nation’s top judicial investigation unit, and it is supposed to be in charge of cracking down on false reports.”

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