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MOJ responds to Sept. 30 DPP international news conference on alleged SID wiretapping of Legislative Yuan

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(1) No illegal wiretapping conducted Since President Ma Ying-jeou took office, he has repeatedly insisted that law enforcement agencies shall not wiretap illegally, and if illegal wiretapping did occur, that the violators should be investigated and prosecuted pursuant to law. The president never ordered or requested that the Special Investigation Division (SID) of the Supreme Prosecutors Office conduct telephone surveillance on the Legislative Yuan. The Democratic Progressive Party has offered no evidence for its accusations in this regard, which are categorically unfounded. (2) Legal surveillance on only one individual phone, not the entire Legislative Yuan phone system In practice, wiretapping a group of discount-rated phone lines requires that an application be filed for all numbers in the group, or the purpose of surveillance cannot be achieved. The SID applied for only one number, and thus did not record any telephone conversations, indicating that at the time the SID must have assumed that the number 0972-xxx-xxx was a telephone that the Legislative Yuan had assigned to an individual, and must not have been aware that it was a number under the Legislature’s discount-rated telephone group. (3) Preliminary investigation indicates Legislative Yuan not the object of SID surveillance The Legislative Yuan switchboard has dozens of numbers; if the purpose were to conduct telephone surveillance on the Legislature, all the numbers would have to be wiretapped. The SID applied to wiretap only one of the numbers, and ended surveillance on the 30th day when the court-ordered time limit for wiretapping had ended. Wiretapping on several other phone numbers, which was applied for at the same time, was continued. The ministry’s initial understanding is that the Legislative Yuan was not the object of the SID’s surveillance. The MOJ task force investigating the case will determine whether any responsibility was incurred in this regard. (4) Watergate totally irrelevant The SID’s applications to the court for wiretapping warrants were all made according to due process of law. Comparisons cannot be made with the Watergate case in the U.S., in which buildings were illegally entered to install listening devices. The two cases are completely different, and the analogy is entirely inappropriate. (5) Purely a judicial, not political, matter The present case arose out of an SID investigation into other crimes, in which it was discovered that a legislator may have been involved in influence peddling in a parole case. Applications for wiretapping were thus made to follow the evidence trail. The case is thus a judicial matter having nothing to do with political infighting.

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