Former Taiwan President charged over secrets leak

Indo Asian News Service

Taipei, March 14 (IANS) Taiwanese prosecutors have charged former President Ma Ying-jeou with leaking secret information obtained from wire-tapping a political opponent in 2013.

Ma has also been charged with violating the Communication Security and Surveillance Act and the Control Act, according to a statement by the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office issued on Tuesday, reported Efe news.

Ma has insisted he did not break any laws and he was merely fulfilling his duty as head of state.

If found guilty, he may be jailed for up to three years for each charge.

Ma's eight-year presidency ended in 2016, when his Kuomintang Party (KMT) lost to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in last year's General Election, reported BBC.

Prosecutors said Ma ordered that the contents of secretly-recorded phone calls between DPP lawmaker Ker Chien-ming and the parliamentary Speaker be given to other officials.

They said that by giving this order, Ma broke laws on the protection of personal information, release of secrets, and communications security and surveillance.

Ma has already appeared in court several times in recent months for a separate lawsuit brought by Ker over the same matter. That case's verdict is set to be announced later this month.

Ma's supporters say he is a victim of political score-settling.