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Prosecutors drop case against former MAC deputy chief (update)

Prosecutors drop case against former MAC deputy chief (update)

Taipei, Feb. 10 (CNA) Prosecutors on Tuesday decided not to indict former Deputy Mainland Affairs Minister Chang Hsien-yao (???) for lack of evidence in a case in which he allegedly leaked secrets to China. Chang resigned from the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) for "family reasons" in August 2014, but he later issued a statement to say that he was told to leave on short notice. The MAC then disclosed that he was being investigated for allegedly leaking information on Taiwan's China policy, a charge that Chang categorically denied, and turned the case over to the Taipei Prosecutors Office for further investigation. It alleged that from June 2012 to February 2014, Chang used phone calls, text messages, and e-mails to inform Beijing of information related to Taiwan's participation in cross-strait meetings and visits to the mainland through his assistant Chen Hung-yi (???) and secretary Chang Su-ling (???). But the Taipei Prosecutors Office dropped the case because the information conveyed did not show evidence of spying for China. Prosecutors said the information allegedly leaked consisted of both normal documents and information on visitors' itineraries rather than the substantive content of negotiations, and could not be construed as secret information. Prosecutors also said that former National Security Bureau chief Tsai De-sheng (???) testified that during his more than five-year term in office, he closely followed the exchanges Chang and others had with the mainland and would have reported any investigations into spying allegations. Prosecutors, however, did not find any such reports, the office said. Other witnesses said the government sent Chang to China between August 2013 and January 2014 to discuss Taiwan's bid to join international organizations. The government fully authorized Chang to execute those missions, and they did not see any evidence of abnormal behavior, the witnesses told prosecutors. Though Mainland Affairs Council chief Wang Yu-chi (???) testified that he was told by Taiwanese businessmen in China that "Chang was close to Chinese officials and that problems could occur in the future," prosecutors said they could not indict Chang and others for leaking secrets to China simply on "hearsay". Chang was Taiwan's deputy chief negotiator with China from February 2014 until he stepped down in his capacity as vice chairman of the quasi-official Straits Exchange Foundation. Chang became the MAC deputy head in February 2012. (By Page Tsai, Y.F. Low and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-26 03:50 GMT+08:00