Well well well. It appears that Speaker of the Legislature Wang Jin-pyng has won a complete victory over President and KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou in the Affair of Influence peddling. The Taipei Times reports:
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) has been cleared of allegations of influence peddling, the Taipei Prosecutors’ Office announced yesterday, after its investigative unit last month concluded that there was no evidence backing claims that Wang spoke with retired judge Yang Ping-chen (楊炳禎) to request that he influence an embezzlement case involving Formosa Telecom Investment Co (全民電通).The case exposed the fact that the SID was wiretapping the legislature's phones. In a long post at the time I observed:
It is striking that no transcript of the alleged phone calls telling the prosecutor to lay off Ker has been produced by the SID, since it has leaked transcripts of Wang Jin-pyng's phone calls. Indeed, the lack of such leaks suggests that no such transcripts exist. This tends to support Wang's claims that he was just comforting Ker and hadn't done anything.No evidence was ever produced that Wang had acted on Ker's behalf. It will be interesting now to see the fallout. The pro-Blue media faithfully followed the Ma camp line, taking it as a fact that Wang had engaged in influence peddling (example, example), as did Ma himself (Taipei Times). There may be lawsuits, though I expect Wang to simply relish his complete victory and not stoop to suing the President and the newspapers.
Interestingly, the Prosecutor who illegally leaked the information that Wang had committed influence peddling to Ma received a 14 month sentence, which was commuted to a small fine. Does this mean that Ma had done something illegal as well?
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