Newspaper article China Post

Legislature Wiretapping Unintentional: Huang

Newspaper article China Post

Legislature Wiretapping Unintentional: Huang

Article excerpt

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming yesterday apologized for misinformation concerning a telephone line under the surveillance of the Special Investigation Division (SID) but denied allegations that the SID knowingly wiretapped a Legislative Yuan line.

Huang was referring to the number 0972630235 listed earlier as one of the numbers under surveillance by the SID. SID spokesman Yang Jong-tsung said earlier yesterday that the number was monitored but denied it was the Legislative Yuan's switchboard number.

"That (telephone number) definitely wasn't the Legislative Yuan's switchboard," said Yang.

At a hurriedly arranged press conference late yesterday, Huang pointed out that his colleagues mistook the number to be one used by Legislator Ker Chien-ming's aide. The Legislative Yuan website lists 02-23585858 as its switchboard number, Huang added.

The SID earlier admitted that it monitored a telephone number for a month in May thinking it belonged to a specific mobile phone user, but denied that it was conducting a wiretap on one of the Legislatures' switchboards.

But the SID refused to disclose what it had recorded from the wiretapped line, saying the case has been closed without detecting anything illegal and therefore the content of the surveillance record cannot be made public.

The Legislature's secretariat pointed out that the wiretapped line - which looks like a mobile phone number - has been in use by the Legislature's switchboard for seven years. The number represents a cost-down switch system handling outgoing calls from 30 extensions.

The wiretapping of the Legislature's telephone line was uncovered by Ker, the main target of the SID's surveillance operation that has sparked one of the biggest political rows in recent years.

Ker, head of the Democratic Progressive Party's legislative caucus, said he received a belated SID report on Friday afternoon about his telephone calls having been monitored. There are two telephone numbers in the report: one is his mobile phone, and the other is the Legislature switchboard, he said. …

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