Ko faces rare criticism over police comments

By Chi-hao James Lo ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Ko Wen-je (�_����) received rare widespread criticism yesterday first for questioning the efforts of police officers in charge of the Ximending E-mei parking garage shootings case and later for proposing to ease restrictions on wiretapping by the police.

Police raided the high-rise studio apartment hideout of prime suspect Chen Fu-hsiang (���ֲ�) in the early hours of Saturday, and successfully captured the suspect. The criticism came from police and the general public after the Taipei mayor initially suggested that Chen should have been captured earlier.

Ko went to the Wanhua precinct yesterday to award the parking garage shooting task force with NT$600,000 for their accomplishments. At the event, he admitted the difficulty of the mission and the time-consuming paperwork they went through in obtaining the telephone logs of the parties involved and in applying for wiretapping permits. Ko suggested that such processes should be streamlined.

The mayor made his first comments on the case after Taipei City Police Commissioner Chiu Feng-kuang (���ץ�) contacted him right after the arrest to deliver the news. However, Chiu’s effort was met with a cold response as Ko asked the commissioner why it took the police such a long time to arrest a suspect whom the police had targeted with such certainty. During a press event on Saturday, Ko also said that although the suspect has been apprehended, the police still have a lot of room for improvement and reflection, as the mission was completed too sluggishly. The mayor’s statement triggered complaints from police and civilian supporters. A high ranking police officer from the Taipei City Police Department reportedly said that Ko’s harsh statement and expectations were due to the fact that the mayor knows nothing about police procedures, and his comments only managed to have a negative effect on police morale.