Four separate cases have been opened over alleged leaks of national security secrets involving Taiwan’s submarine program, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office said yesterday.
Admiral Huang Shu-kuang (黃曙光), who heads the Indigenous Defense Submarine program, on Thursday last week said that “certain legislators” were making it difficult for the program to purchase critical equipment.
Retired navy captain Kuo Hsi (郭璽) on the same day said that Huang was referring to Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Ma Wen-chun (馬文君).
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
Ma allegedly leaked files from the submarine program to the Chinese Communist Party and the South Korean Mission in Taipei, Kuo added.
The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office said that the High Prosecutors’ Office would lead treason investigations.
The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office would determine whether claims that Chinese spies or organizations affiliated with China were involved would constitute a breach of the National Security Act (國家安全法) and the Anti-infiltration Act (反滲透法), the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office said.
The Taipei office would also launch a separate investigation into disputes between contractors that submitted bids for the program, it said.
Ma has said that she was given blueprints and other files, whose authenticity was difficult to ascertain, in January last year, as well as recordings that Kuo said were of him.
Ma said she forwarded the material to the Ministry of National Defense, but it had told her the content was a result of “bad blood” between competing contractors and the information was not sensitive.
Ma said she had later asked the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau to open a probe into the matter.
She reached out to the South Korean office via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and forwarded the recordings to it as well, she said.
The Investigation Bureau confirmed that it had received the request from Ma, a source said on condition of anonymity.
The bureau forwarded the matter to the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office, the source said.
The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office yesterday instructed the Kaohsiung office to continue its investigation.
Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said at the Legislative Yuan that he respected ongoing investigations.
Ma asked Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) why a “controversial individual” like Kuo was hired as a consultant for the submarine program.
Kuo had prior knowledge of such matters, Chiu said, adding that the navy had suspended his consultancy after a year because “he crossed some lines.”
Ma later told reporters that she was innocent of any alleged wrongdoing and that the judicial proceedings would determine the truth.
Former minister of national defense Michael Tsai (蔡明憲) called on Ma to resign and cancel her re-election campaign to demonstrate her resolve to work with the investigation.
Taiwan Statebuilding Party Chairman Wang Hsing-huan (王興煥) said that Chiu’s “appeasement” of Ma and calling her “hard-working” was incredible.
Additional reporting by Wu Su-wei
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