Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday said that the public is likely unimpressed with Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) on Friday asking prosecutors to investigate National Police Agency (NPA) Director-General Chen Ja-chin (陳家欽) over three promotions he approved. Su called on Chen to continue serving in his position steadfastly while waiting for the judiciary to prove his innocence.
Hsu had forwarded a case involving Chen, NPA Department of Human Resources Director Chang Shu-fang (張淑芳), as well as NPA Director-General’s Office coordinators Wu Cheng-chieh (吳正杰), Chu Cheng-tzu (渠正慈) and Wang Wen-chu (王文助), to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office.
The Ministry of the Interior said that Chen unduly expedited the promotions of Wu, Chu and Wang to their current posts, despite the agency having announced that the candidates would be selected by an open audition.
Photo: Tsai Shu-yuan, Taipei Times
The ministry in its complaint accused Chen of instructing Chang to abet the three in writing false reports about their positions and the exchanges they had as officers to allegedly help them secure the promotions to police officer rank 1, characterized by two bars and four stars, which they would otherwise have had to wait for another five to six years to attain.
Although the prosecutors’ office later on Friday rejected the case citing procedural flaws, it is still under investigation by the Control Yuan and the Agency Against Corruption.
The incident has sparked widespread speculation of a power struggle between Chen and Hsu over the NPA’s staffing.
Asked about the issue, Chen said that all of his actions have been completely legitimate and would withstand public scrutiny.
Su yesterday said he was dismayed by the incident, adding that the public is likely confused and unimpressed by the kerfuffle, especially amid fears over COVID-19.
Su added that the ministry did not inform his aide of the matter until after 8pm on Friday.
Hsu should have spoken to him if he believed that Chen was unfit for his job, so that he could replace or transfer Chen, Su said, but added that Hsu had never spoken to him about the issue.
Hsu claimed to have been too busy to report on the matter, Su said, only to text him the following day saying that he was reticent over the case because he did not want it to follow a direction similar to 2013’s Legislative Yuan wiretapping case implicating then-prosecutor-general Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) in leaking information from a judicial investigation to then-president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
However, the ministry’s news release on Friday night conflicted with Hsu’s remarks, saying that it had withheld information to ensure the integrity of the government’s ethics system, Su said.
The principle of secret investigation does not apply to the ministry’s Department of Civil Service Ethics, which is not part of the judicial system, he added.
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