Private investigator indicted in Ko wiretap case

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A private investigator was indicted Wednesday for planting wiretaps in a case which rocked the election campaign of Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je last year.
A campaign aide was not charged because of insufficient evidence, the Taipei District Prosecutors Office said.
The man indicted, Lin Chun-hung, was accused of having planted electronic eavesdropping devices in the telephone switchboard of a building which housed the policy center of the Ko campaign. He reportedly runs a detective agency in Yilan County.
The devices were found on November 4, just weeks before the hard-fought mayoral election which pitted independent surgeon Ko against Kuomintang Central Committee member Sean Lien.
The discovery immediately triggered a war of words between the two camps, with the opposition accusing the KMT of harking back to tactics from the martial law era, while Lien campaign manager Alex Tsai hinted the Ko camp might have staged the whole affair.
Ko’s aides said Tsai, a KMT lawmaker, knew too much about the opposition campaign’s schedule and about the identity of its policy advisers before they had been announced.
Lin was reportedly called in to sweep the policy office by Ko’s aide, Peng Sheng-shao, who was later listed as a defendant. According to statements from Lin quoted in the media, he planted the wire in the switchboard in order to highlight security problems in the building which might help him win a contract to install surveillance cameras.
Peng said that at the time, he was inside the policy office on the ninth floor of the building, while Lin was at work on the switchboard on the third floor.
The fact that one of the offices on another floor was rented by a business association with close links to the KMT fueled more suspicions in the Ko camp that the ruling party was responsible for the wiretaps.
The eavesdropping case was one of several high-profile disputes between the Ko and Lien campaigns, which ended with a 57-percent victory for the independent on November 29.