President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was summoned by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday evening as a witness in a case involving Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming’s (黃世銘) alleged leaks of details of an investigation into allegations of improper lobbying against Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).
Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and former Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Lo Chih-chang (羅智強) were also subpoenaed as witnesses last night.
Ma, Jiang, Huang and Lo were questioned individually.
Photo: Taipei Times
Ma is the second sitting president to testify as a witness. Then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) testified in Hualien County as a witness in a corruption case in 2004.
Neither Ma nor Jiang appeared before reporters after their visits to the prosecutors’ office and did not issue any statements.
However, Huang, who has been listed as a defendant in the investigation, said he is innocent.
Photo: Taipei Times
“I have no regrets at all about what I did. I did not do anything wrong that let Taiwanese down, nor did I do anything that has tarnished the position of prosecutor-general. I am sticking to what I have done and I will keep doing it,” Huang told reporters after he was questioned.
Lo declined to reveal details of his testimony, saying: “It takes courage to stand on the same side as Ma, which is the side of the minority at this moment.”
He resigned on Sept. 12, citing the improper lobbying scandal, as well as family and personal reasons for his decision to quit.
The prosecutors’ office began its investigation yesterday after several lawyers and citizens filed lawsuits against Huang over the alleged leaking of secrets in the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division’s (SID) probe into a case involving Wang and Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘).
The prosecutors summoned Ma to clarify the details of meetings he had with Huang on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, five days before Huang called a press conference to accuse Wang of the misconduct.
Ma has previously defended the legitimacy of his private interactions with Huang and dismissed allegations that he had instructed Huang on how to handle the allegations against Wang, but said that, as a citizen, he was obligated to testify in court. He also said that his testimony would be able to help prosecutors and he did not think his appearance before them would have a negative effect on the presidency.
The Presidential Office notified the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday afternoon that Ma was available to report to the office last night. Ma arrived at the prosecutors’ office at about 8pm, taking a secret passageway to avoid reporters. Huang was already being questioned when Ma arrived.
Both Ma and Huang have said that the allegations against Wang involve administrative misconduct and that it is not a criminal case.
‘LOCAL TRANSMISSION’: The nation reported 11 new cases, including seven local infections in the north, the highest daily number of cases since the pandemic began The COVD-19 situation has entered the “local transmission” stage and enhanced disease prevention measures have been implemented until June 8, the Central Epidemic Command Center announced yesterday as it reported six locally transmitted cases with unclear infection sources. The center reported 11 new cases yesterday: four imported cases from India, and seven local infections in northern Taiwan, the highest daily number of cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that one of the local infections — case No. 1,201 — is a woman who is a family member living with
SIXTEEN LOCAL: Three COVID-19 infections are linked to a cluster at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 to a case in New Taipei City and three had unclear sources The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged people to increase vigilance and thoroughly practice preventive measures against COVID-19 as it reported 16 locally transmitted cases of the disease. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that 21 cases were confirmed in Taiwan yesterday: 16 local cases, four imported cases and one case undetermined. The locally transmitted cases are three linked to a cluster of infections at a gambling house in Yilan County, 10 associated with a previous case in New Taipei City and three with unclear sources of infection. The CECC on Tuesday reported a cluster
TRACING TROUBLE: An infected man who had said that all his children were abroad was found to have a daughter in Kaohsiung who tested positive, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported a new daily record of 29 local COVID-19 cases, including seven cases with unknown sources of infection. Of the 29 cases, 16 are linked to tea houses in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華), Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a news briefing in Taipei. The 16 are tea house workers or visitors, or their contacts, the CECC said. Workers and visitors to the establishments have frequent interpersonal contact, but few protective measures against the COVID-19 pandemic are in place, Chen said, urging those who have been exposed or have
GRID PROBLEM: A Taipower spokesman said that the blackouts were not due to usage exceeding supply, nor were they because of a problem at the Singda plant There were rolling blackouts across Taiwan yesterday due to a grid malfunction at the Singda Power Plant (興達電廠) in Kaohsiung’s Yongan District (永安), while Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) said that it was working “as hard as possible to resolve the issue as soon as possible.” At 2:37pm, a malfunction at an ultra-high-voltage substation in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) triggered four generators at the Singda plant to go offline, cutting power output by 2.2 million kilowatts and prompting Taipower to initiate rolling blackouts nationwide as it worked on the problem. Taipower spokesman Chang Ting-shu (張廷抒) told a news conference in Taipei that