Amid the current political firestorm embroiling some of the country’s top political figures, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) stalwarts have spoken out against the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID) for its alleged illegal wiretapping of the legislature.
Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) apologized on Sept. 28 for what he called a “mix-up” by the SID.
He said the unit had mistakenly wiretapped a telephone number at the legislature earlier this year, thinking it was assigned to a cellphone used by an aide to Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘).
The SID, based on information it said was from a wiretap of Ker’s telephone, said on Sept. 6 that Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) was involved in improper lobbying of then-justice minister Tseng Yung-fu and the head of the Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office, Chen Shou-huang (陳守煌), to dissuade a prosecutor from appealing a breach of trust case involving Ker that she was handling.
New Taipei City (新北市) Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) on Tuesday demanded a judicial probe to find out who was responsible for the wiretapping.
“The political row has happened. It is to the misfortune of our nation, and of our people. Now do the right thing by the public; managing the economy is the most important thing,” Chu said on Tuesday.
“People are going through tough times, but they see all these controversial political issues and they just shake their heads. They are asking the political parties and leaders to demonstrate wisdom [on handling the political row],” he added.
When asked whether Huang should resign over his role in the affair, Chu said that a thorough judicial probe must be conducted.
“Because this must not be allowed to happen in democratic nations, which includes Taiwan. Those who are responsible must bear their responsibility,” he said.
Separately, Taoyuan County Commissioner John Wu (吳志揚), questioned by county councilors on the matter, said: “Illegal wiretapping is much more serious than bribery and corruption. It is the biggest crisis in a democratic society.”
“Wiretapping of the legislature absolutely cannot be tolerated. A judicial probe must be carried out and report its results to the public, who are the real masters whom the government serves,” he added.
Meanwhile, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), in response to media queries, said the SID has made a number of mistakes on wiretapping, and this has harmed the SID’s credibility and diminished the public’s confidence in the judiciary.
Additional reporting by Hsieh Wu-hsiung and CNA