Charges would not be filed against a Hong Kong student, his Taiwanese friend and private investigators over the alleged tailing and photographing of three Hong Kong democracy advocates in Taipei last year, prosecutors said yesterday.
Lee Pun-ho (李彬豪), who at the time was a student at Fu Jen Catholic University’s Department of Psychology in New Taipei City was named in court documents that said among the three he had secretly surveilled was Tony Chung (鍾翰林), the convenor of Socialocalism, which advocates Hong Kong independence.
The civil lawsuit was filed by two Taiwanese, Yang Yue-ching (楊月清), director of a political organization, and a Liberty Times (the sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) reporter surnamed Su (蘇), who met with Chung and two other Hong Kong rights advocates while they were in Taipei to meet friends and civil society members in January last year.
Yang and Su accused Lee of “offenses against personal privacy” after news reports, including photograhs, were published in the Wen Wei Po and other media in Hong Kong.
The reports said that the Hong Kong trio met with Taiwanese independence groups and officials close to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).
Prosecutors said their investigation found that Lee, with the help of a Taiwanese friend, contracted UIC Investigation to watch the Hong Kongers and who they met in Taipei.
Lee paid UIC NT$20,000 per day, with the money from a “boss” in Hong Kong, prosecutors said.
UIC general manager Chao Po-kai (趙柏凱) told investigators that the company had been paid for the job, with nine staff, including investigators and photographers, trailing the trio in secret and taking photos of their meetings with Taiwanese, prosecutors said.
UIC trailed the targets to coffee shops and Academia Historica, which are all public spaces, so there was no evidence to press charges of offenses against personal privacy, prosecutors said.
However, the Mainland Affairs Council later yesterday said that it would review the case and would consider canceling Lee’s residency.
Lee arrived in Taiwan on a student visa and later obtained a resident’s visa, which allowed him to work at a Taiwanese company, the council said.
However, secret surveillance of a Hong Konger and passing the information to pro-China media for publication might be a breach of his residency permit, it said.
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