Scandal has undermined public trust, Hau says

WIRETAPPING::The Taipei mayor suggested having the Control Yuan take over the investigation of the case instead of a task force by the Ministry of Justice

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, Oct 01, 2013 - Page 3

Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) should take political responsibility for the wiretapping scandal involving the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID), which has deepened the public’s distrust of the nation’s judicial system, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said yesterday.

“People placed their faith in the prosecutor-general and the SID, but the [wiretapping scandal] has severely undermined public trust in the judicial system,” Hau said.

“I believe Prosecutor-General Huang has the wisdom to handle the matter properly and will take political responsibility for the incident,” the mayor said.

Hau made the comments on the sidelines of a filial piety awards ceremony in Taipei, in response to reporters’ questions on whether he thought Huang should remain in his position in the face of the snowballing political scandal over the division’s highly contentious wiretapping operations.

Hau said the public should be free of the fear that they are being watched, which is why wiretapping can only be carried out under three preconditions: that the process is legal; that it is a last resort; and that it adheres to the principle of minimizing the scope and damage it may cause.

“However, the [SID] not only carried out wiretapping in a crude manner, but also made false conclusions based on its investigations,” Hau said, adding that any form of abuse of wiretapping power should not be tolerated.

Asked about the Ministry of Justice’s decision to form a task force to look into the allegations of improper wiretapping by the division, Hau said it would be more appropriate for the Control Yuan to take over the investigations into the allegations as well as the alleged use of undue influence by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).

“The public will not trust the results of the investigations if they are conducted by another judicial agency,” Hau added.