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
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is aware that Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong has weakened any possible sentiment for a “one country, two systems” arrangement for Taiwan, and has instructed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) politburo member Wang Huning (王滬寧) to develop new ways of defining cross-strait relations, Japanese news magazine Nikkei Asia reported on Thursday. A former professor of international politics at Fu Dan University, Wang is expected to develop a dialogue that could serve as the foundation for cross-strait unification, and Xi plans to use the framework to support a fourth term as president, Nikkei Asia quoted an anonymous source
LUCKY DATE: The man picked the 10th ‘Super Red Envelope’ in a lottery store in Taoyuan’s Jhongli because he broke up with his girlfriend on Jan. 10 A man who recently broke up with his girlfriend won a NT$1 million (US$32,929) prize in the “NT$20 million Super Red Envelope” lottery after picking a card based on the date of their breakup, Taiwan Lottery Co said yesterday. The man, in his 20s, bought the 10th ticket at a lottery store in Taoyuan’s Jhongli District (中壢), because he broke up with his girlfriend on Jan. 10, the store owner told the lottery company. The “Super Red Envelope” lottery was a limited offering by the company during the Lunar New Year holiday, which ended yesterday. The cards, which cost NT$2,000 each, came with
TOURISM BOOST: The transportation system could help attract more visitors to the area, as the line is to connect multiple cultural sites, a city councilor said Residents in New Taipei City’s Ankeng District (安坑) said the local light rail system might have a positive influence, but raised questions about its practicality. The Ankeng light rail system, which is to commence operations after the Lunar New Year holiday, would cut travel time for commuters from Ankeng to downtown Taipei or New Taipei City by 15 to 20 minutes, the city government said. According to the initial plan, there would be one train every 15 minutes during peak time and additional interval trains would run between the densely populated Ankang Station (安康) and Shisizhang Station (十 四張). To encourage people to
CHAMPION TREES: The team used light detection and ranging imaging to locate the tree, and found that it measured a height of 84.1m and had a girth of 8.5m A team committed to finding the tallest trees in the nation yesterday said that an 84.1m tall Taiwania cryptomerioides tree had been named the tallest tree in Taiwan and East Asia. The Taiwan Champion Trees, a team consisting of researchers from the Council of Agriculture’s Taiwan Forestry Research Institute and National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), in June last year used light detection and ranging (LiDAR) imaging to find the giant tree, numbered 55214, upstream of the Daan River (大安溪). A 20-member expedition team led by Rebecca Hsu (徐嘉君), an assistant researcher at the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, set out to find the