Ying-jeou, Former Taiwan President, Sent To Four Months In Jail

Lester Mason
May 15, 2018

A court in Taiwan on Tuesday sentenced former president Ma Ying-jeou to four months jail over a leak of information related to national security, legal documents showed, but he vowed to appeal, and could avoid jail altogether by paying a fine.

The now-defunct Special Investigation Department, under the Supreme Prosecutors Office, later released a transcript of the telephone conversation, and although neither Wang nor Ker were indicted, Ker sought charges against Ma for the leak.

Ma was acquitted of the charges a year ago by the Taipei District Court, which found him not guilty in a case that charged him with instructing then-State Prosecutor-General Huang Shyh-ming (黃世銘) to disclose confidential information from a judicial probe.

He was sentenced to four months in jail, which can be commuted to a fine of NT$120,000.

An investigation found that Ma had on Aug. 31, 2013, instructed then-prosecutor-general Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) to hold a meeting regarding transcripts from telephone wiretapping, which were obtained during a judicial investigation into alleged improper lobbying involving Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) and then-legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

The High Court insisted that he violated a communication and surveillance act.

However, the High Court ruled that the 2013 investigation into Ker and Wang did not involve a dispute between two or more branches of government and Ma was therefore not entitled to exercise the executive power.

The information that he obtained through his office "should have been kept secret", a statement from the court said.

Ma was not present when the verdict was announced.

The Taipei District Prosecutors' Office lodged an appeal against the ruling, contending that there was clear evidence of Ma's role in instigating the leak, and that the court misconstrued the president's power to mediate disputes between different branches of government.

But since he stepped down as leader in May 2016 the 67-year-old has been hit with a string of corruption and other allegations.

A senior member of Taiwan's embattled opposition party Kuomintang (KMT) - of which Ma was once chairman - described the ruling as a political move by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and urged the public to remember it when voting in the local government elections later in the year.

Ma told Taiwan media he planned to appeal.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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