Taipei, Dec. 10 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has filed a complaint with police against six legislators and city councilors who tried to force their way into the MOFA office building and allegedly hurt a young MOFA officer during a scuffle.
MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said the move was made to "protect the rights and dignity of our colleague," who was hurt physically and emotionally" by what Ou described as "verbal and physical violence."
The ministry wants the six legislators and city councilors investigated for coercion and obstructing an officer in discharging his duties, Ou said.
In response to the complaint, the police could summon the lawmakers for questioning, and the MOFA officer could also be called in as a witness to give his side of the story, Ou said.
The incident occurred on Dec. 6, when three opposition Kuomintang (KMT) legislators and three KMT Taipei City councilors attempted to enter MOFA headquarters to demand an explanation from Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) of a senior diplomat's suicide in Osaka in September 2018.
The six tried to push their way through the MOFA building's main door that was being blocked from the inside by police regularly assigned as security guards to the ministry.
In a video, they were seen surrounding a young MOFA officer outside the building who was making a video of their actions. They yelled at him, grabbed his arms and threatened to send him to the prosecutor's office.
Ou accused the six KMT politicians of playing politics ahead of Taiwan's presidential and legislative elections in January 2020, saying they did not even bring a petition with them regarding the suicide case.
The case involved the death of Su Chii-cherng (蘇啟誠), then director-general of the Osaka branch of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Japan, who was found hanging by the neck in his residence on September 14, 2018.
His suicide came after the Osaka office and the Foreign Ministry faced a barrage of online criticism for their ineffective response to the shutdown of Kansai Airport after its flooding by Typhoon Jebi just over a week earlier.
They were panned for their inability to evacuate Taiwanese travelers, seemingly in contrast to China, which, according to online posts that later proved to be inaccurate, had managed to send buses to the airport to get its nationals out.
Prompting the recent protests by KMT politicians was the indictment of Yang Hui-ju, a former campaign aide to Taiwan's representative to Japan, Frank Hsieh, and a supporter of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, for financing some of the cyberattacks panning the Osaka office's performance.
The KMT has been critical of MOFA's lack of a detailed accounting of why Su may have killed himself and its failure to hold top officials in charge of Japan affairs responsible for Su's death, and tried to publicize that with a series of maneuvers.
Ou urged politicians not to use MOFA and other government agencies as a place for electioneering.
(By Emerson Lim)