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Court to rule March 28 on Ker suit against ex-president Ma

2017/02/21 21:41:13

Taipei, Feb. 21 (CNA) Taipei District Court will hand down a ruling March 28 on Legislator Ker Chien-ming's (柯建銘) lawsuit against former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九)regarding the latter's alleged leaking of confidential information, the court announced on Tuesday.

During his final testimony, Ma told the court he was innocent, while Ker told the media he was extremely confident of winning the lawsuit.

The Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker filed the suit in 2013, accusing then President Ma of leaking details regarding an ongoing criminal investigation obtained from former State Prosecutor-General Huang Shyh-ming (黃世銘).

During the hearing, Presiding Judge Wu Yung-yi (吳勇毅) asked Ma what course of action he had taken after hearing Huang's report about former Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng's (王金平)suspected lobbying in favor of Ker.

Ma replied that he did not issue any instructions because Huang was reporting a suspicion about the violation of administrative not criminal law; "besides, as the state prosecutor-general, Huang was not under my command," so he (Huang) then discussed the case with Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺)and others.

On the day of the court's first hearing on the case Nov. 8, 2016, Ma's office issued a statement accusing Ker of filing the lawsuit in an attempt to divert public attention from his own involvement in an influence-peddling case.

No one involved in legal proceedings should should lobby for a legal case, as that undermines "basic judicial justice," Ma told the court that day.

In response, Ker accused Ma of "waging a political struggle under the pretext of pursuing the influence peddling case." He said that Ma's intervention in a private lawsuit while still head of state, brought shame on Taiwan's constitutional democracy.

The former president's popularity plummeted to 9.2 percent, in part because of his involvement in the highly political case, Ker said, advising Ma to "admit his missteps" and take his last chance to "save his skin."

The controversy erupted in September 2013 after Huang was found to have shown Ma transcripts of a wiretapped conversation between Ker and then-Legislative Speaker Wang, in which the two men were heard discussing lobbying two senior justice officials to prevent any appeal of Ker's acquittal in a breach of trust case.

Huang was convicted in February 2015 of violating the Communication Security and Surveillance Act for disclosing details of the prosecutors' investigation to Ma.

(By Chu Tze-wei, Liu Shih-yi and S.C. Chang)
Enditem /AW/