Taipei mayor and city councilors spar over eavesdropping at Taipei Dome meeting

Meeting did not include Farglory managers, Taipei City Government says

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je rejecting allegations about the Taipei Dome Friday May 31

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je rejecting allegations about the Taipei Dome Friday May 31 (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members of the Taipei City Council have accused the administration of Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) of trying to reach a secret deal with the developer of the Taipei Dome, while the mayor struck back with allegations of illegal eavesdropping.

The 40,000-seat Taipei Dome project became the focus of controversy after the outspoken Ko first took office in late 2014, and subsequently ordered work on the sports complex halted amid concerns over safety violations.

DPP city councilor Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) produced audio tapes reportedly indicating that city officials met last November, shortly before Ko’s re-election to a final and second term, to prepare a deal with developer Farglory Group about the future of the Taipei Dome.

City officials said the November meeting did not involve Farglory representatives and amounted purely to an internal discussion. As no decision was reached, there had been no need to write any statement into official records, the Central News Agency quoted an official as saying.

Speaking to reporters, Ko said the seven audio recordings did not amount to a real meeting, but were disjointed fragments of conversation. He compared their contents to two men talking to each other inside the restrooms, the United Daily News reported.

Official meetings could be recorded and even livestreamed over the Internet, the mayor added, saying that it was normal for city government officials to sit together and discuss important issues.

Chien alleged that there might have been several secret meetings about the Taipei Dome.