Ma Ying-jeou jailed for leaking classified infoChina | 15 May 2018 11:13 am
Former Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou, has been found guilty of helping leak classified information and sentenced to four months in prison by the Taiwan High Court, in a ruling that reversed a not-guilty verdict handed down by a lower court.
The Taiwan High Court today found Ma guilty of abetting the leak of classified information related to the investigation of an opposition lawmaker while the probe was in progress in September 2013.
The sentence can be commuted to a fine. The case can still be appealed, CNA reports.
The case goes back to September 2013 when it was disclosed that then-State Prosecutor-General Huang Shyh-ming had shown Ma a transcript of wiretapped conversations that were part of evidence collected in an ongoing investigation of alleged breach of trust by senior Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Ker Chien-ming.
In the taped conversations, then Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng and Ker were heard talking about lobbying two senior justice officials, including the minister of justice, to prevent any appeal of the breach of trust case in which Ker had first been found guilty and then acquitted on appeal.
According to prosecutors, Ma encouraged Huang to leak the contents of the recording, Ker's personal information and other information related to the ongoing investigation to then premier Jiang Yi-huah and then Presidential Office deputy secretary General Lo Chih-chiang.
Huang was convicted in February 2015 of violating the Communication Security and Surveillance Act and was sentenced to 15 months in prison, commutable to a fine of NT$457,000 (US$14,751), which he has since paid.
Ma was president at the time and therefore had immunity from criminal prosecution but he was summoned as a potential defendant in the case for the first time on December 1, 2016, after leaving office in May.
The Taipei District Court, however, found Ma not guilty on August 25, 2017, after which prosecutors appealed.