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Home The News News Ma remains silent during questioning

Ma remains silent during questioning

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Former president Ma Ying-jeou yesterday makes a statement outside the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday exercised his right to remain silent during questioning at the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office as part of an ongoing inquiry into an alleged breach of financial regulations during the sale of three media companies formerly run by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

The KMT in 2005 sold Central Motion Picture Corp (CMPC, 中影), China Television Co (CTV, 中視) and Broadcasting Corp of China (BCC, 中廣), after an amendment to the Broadcasting and Television Act (廣播電視法) in 2003 barred political parties, the military and politicians from owning media outlets.

Ma, who was then-KMT chairman, is accused of illegally facilitating the sales of the media outlets below market value, which would be a breach of the Securities and Exchange Act (證券交易法).

Ma left the office after four hours of questioning and immediately issued a statement, saying the prosecution is procedurally unjust and that he exercised his right to silence.

“Any neutral, objective and full examination of evidence will acquit me from allegations of criminality. Should the office have concerns other than these, I am not a pugnacious man, but I do not run from a fight,” he said.

Ma said the allegations leveled against him are “groundless accusations” and accused the prosecution of engaging a smear campaign through the media against his character and reputation.

“It is my opinion that the office has breached the principles of objectivity and confidentiality under articles 2 and 245 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (刑事訴訟法),” he said.

The prosecutors have dismissed charges of breaching investigative confidentiality that Ma had filed against Chief Prosecutor Shing Tai-chao (邢泰釗) and Lead Prosecutor Wang Hsin-chien (王鑫健), and his request for remanding the case to another jurisdiction was also rejected, Ma said.

That the decision was made by a Taipei prosecutor surnamed Huang (黃), who is also investigating the sale of the media outlets, raises doubts over procedural correctness, Ma said.

Shing and Wang called a news conference on Dec. 13 last year to deny allegations of leaking information about their investigation before the case was registered formally, and attributed the leak to the media, Ma said, calling the move “rash.”

Ma vowed to continue exercising his right to silence during questioning until the legality of the investigation is affirmed and the office can prove itself to be unbiased.

Sources previously told the Chinese-language Liberty Times (sister paper of the Taipei Times) on condition of anonymity that Taipei prosecutors are in possession of an allegedly incriminating recording.

It is purportedly a recording of Ma’s conversation with former KMT-controlled Central Investment Co (CIC, 中央投資公司) general manager Wang Hai-ching (汪海清) over a dispute with CTV’s eventual buyer, Yu Chien-hsin (余建新).

Ma allegedly told Wang to concede to Yu’s demands and refrain from actions that would “jeopardize the deal,” sources said.


Source: Taipei Times - 2018/04/26



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