Taiwan Supreme Court orders retrial for Ma Ying-jeou

The former president will be given a retrial for his wiretapping case

Former president Ma Ying-jeou

Former president Ma Ying-jeou (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is facing a retrial after his conviction in a political leaks case was revoked by the Supreme Court on Jan. 3, according to CNA.

In May 2018, Taiwan’s High Court found Ma guilty of leaking sensitive information in September 2013, violating the Personal Information Protection Act and the Communication Security and Surveillance Act.

Ma was convicted of attempting to damage the “character and rights” of Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) by ordering former prosecutor-general Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) to discuss telephone wiretap transcripts that were obtained in an investigation of improper lobbying by the DPP Majority Leader. The former president was then said to have passed the information on to other KMT executives.

Ma was protected by political immunity up to 2016 while still in the presidential office, but in May last year was hit with the choice of a four-month jail sentence or a NT$120,000 (US$3,900) fine. He appealed the sentence at the Supreme court.

The court ordered a retrial, citing a lack of clarity over certain essential facts and unsettled evidence matters. Judges expressed there were contradictions between statements given by Ma and other individuals involved.