Fri | Oct 20, 2017

Ex-Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou indicted over secrets leak

Published:Wednesday | March 15, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Ma Ying-jeou

TAIPEI (AP):

Prosecutors in Taiwan yesterday indicted the island's China-friendly ex-President Ma Ying-jeou over the leaking of classified information involving suspected influence peddling by a powerful opposition lawmaker.

The Taipei District Public Prosecutor's Office found after a six-month probe that Ma broke laws on the protection of personal information, release of secrets and communications security and surveillance, office spokesman Chang Chieh-chin said.

Ma has denied the charges.

A US-educated legal scholar, Ma, 66, was credited with substantially improving Taiwan's relations with rival China during his two terms in office from 2008 to 2016.

However, his push for ever-closer ties sparked a backlash, especially among young Taiwanese wary of China's intentions toward the island it considers its own territory to be brought under control by force if necessary.

That led to his Nationalist Party losing both the presidency and its parliamentary majority to the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party in polls in January 2016.

 

KEEPING TIES WITH MAINLAND

 

The DPP has sought to maintain ties with the mainland while asserting the self-governing island's own place in international society.

China responded by cutting off contacts with Taiwan's government in June in protest at new President Tsai Ing-wen's refusal to acknowledge its claim that Taiwan and the Chinese mainland are part of a single Chinese nation.

China and Taiwan, a former Japanese colony, split amid civil war in 1949.

The charges against Ma stem from a 2013 lawsuit brought by DPP lawmaker Ker Chien-ming. Ker accused the then-president of leaking information taken from a wiretapped conversation in which powerful Nationalist lawmaker Wang Jin-pyng pressed judicial officials to acquit Ker in a separate case.