Sun, Dec 01, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Prosecutors seek Australia’s aid in spy claims

HELP WANTED:A Ministry of Justice official said prosecutors are to ask Canberra for help in investigating claims made by self-confessed spy William Wang Liqiang

Staff writer, with CNA

The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office is hoping for help from Australia as it investigates the allegations of self-confessed Chinese spy William Wang Liqiang (王立強), a Ministry of Justice official said yesterday.

The ministry official, who asked not to be named, said the office wrote a letter requesting that Australia provide it with a transcript of Wang’s comments given to Australian authorities on his role in reportedly attempting to influence Taiwan’s elections.

The letter also asked for information pertaining to China Innovation Investment Ltd (中國創新投資) executive director Xiang Xin (向心) and his wife, acting director Kung Ching (龔青), whom Wang accused of being players in China’s efforts to affect Taiwan’s elections, the official said.

Prosecutors are also hoping that Australia would allow Taiwanese investigators to question Wang through online video conferencing, the official added.

The letter is to be given to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be delivered to relevant agencies in Australia, where Wang is seeking asylum, the official said, adding that as Taiwan and Australia have not signed a mutual legal assistance agreement, the odds that Canberra would meet the requests were not high.

Several questions have also been raised about whether Wang is really a spy, and there has been no independent confirmation of his identity and the veracity of the allegations he has made.

Based on Wang’s public statements, Xiang and Kung were stopped for questioning by Taiwanese authorities as they were preparing to depart for Hong Kong from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Sunday last week.

Both were released after questioning, but prosecutors on Tuesday barred them from leaving the nation pending further investigation.

The Chinese couple have visited Taiwan several times in the past, and own two properties in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義), which they have since leased, Taipei prosecutors said.

Before Wang appeared in public, they were in Taipei looking at a potential investment opportunity related to property in New Taipei City’s Linkou District (林口), prosecutors said.

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