By Stacy Hsu / Staff reporter
New Party spokesman Wang Ping-chung （王炳忠） yesterday took legal action against prosecutors and investigators over what he called their abuse of power in conducting an illegal raid of his residence, citing the lack of a judge’s signature on a search warrant.
Wang and lawyer Chen Li-ling （陳麗玲） went to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office to file a lawsuit against the office’s prosecutors and officers of the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau who raided his residence in Taipei’s Wanhua District （萬華） early on Tuesday.
Their allegations included interference with personal freedom, trespassing on private property and malfeasance.
Chen said that to avoid conflicts of interest, she submitted a request with the Taiwan High Prosecutors’ Office for the case to be transferred to another jurisdiction.
Earlier yesterday at a news conference at the New Party’s headquarters in Taipei, Wang presented a screenshot from a video he live-streamed of the initial phase of the raid, which he said showed a blank spot on the search warrant presented to him by officials that should have born a judge’s signature.
“According to Item 3, Article 128 of the Code of Criminal Procedure （刑事訴訟法）, a search warrant requires the signature of a judge. Having the official seal of a court alone is not enough,” Chen said.
“This is ironclad evidence” that the raid was illegal, Wang said, adding that when he asked investigators waiting to enter his house which judge signed off on the warrant, one of them repeatedly circled with his fingers an empty spot on the document in an attempt to fool him.
Defending his decision to live-stream the raid on Facebook — which according to some legal experts could be against the law — Wang said that were it not for the video, the situation would have become a “he said, she said” scenario.
Chen questioned the legitimacy of investigators confiscating Wang’s cellphone, laptop and an iPad, saying that the law only allows them to copy electronic records.
The residences of Wang and other members of the New Party Youth Corps were raided on Tuesday before they were detained for hours of questioning over alleged contraventions of the National Security Act （國家安全法）.
The searches were reportedly connected to follow-up investigations into the activities of convicted Chinese spy Zhou Hongxu （周泓旭）.
As Wang and the others were only listed as witnesses in the case, critics have said the actions of the investigators were disproportional.
Later yesterday, the office presented the search warrant for Wang’s residence bearing a judge’s seal and said that all search warrants come with the official seals of the court and the judge who signed off on the document.
“According to the law, a signature is of similar legal effect as a seal,” the Taipei Di博客來網路書店
strict Court said.
Additional reporting by CNA