Taiwan justice minister resigns

Taiwan justice minister resigns over influence peddling accusations

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) -- Taiwan's justice minister has resigned over allegations he used his influence to quash an attempt by prosecutors to appeal a not guilty verdict against an opposition legislator.

Tseng Yung-fu's announcement late Friday night came after he met Premier Jiang Yi-huah. Jiang accepted Tseng's resignation.

Earlier in the day the Supreme Prosecutor's Office prosecutors had accused Tseng of intervening to stop a prosecutorial appeal against the not guilty verdict in a breach of trust case against Ker Chien-ming, a prominent opposition lawmaker.

Tseng's resignation is another setback for the beleaguered government of President Ma Ying-jeou. Amid a widespread perception of administrative bungling and personal remoteness, Ma's approval rating has fallen to around 15 percent.

But the direct involvement of Ker in the case will also embarrass the opposition Democratic Progressive Party.