March 14, 2017 3:10 pm JST

Ex-Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou indicted over secrets leak

Ma Ying-jeou © AP

TAIPEI (AP) -- Taiwan's China-friendly ex-president Ma Ying-jeou has been indicted over the leaking of classified information involving suspected influence peddling by a powerful opposition lawmaker.

The Taipei District Public Prosecutor's Office found after a six-month probe that Ma broke laws on the protection of personal information, release of secrets and communications security and surveillance.

Ma, 66, a U.S.-educated legal scholar, was credited with substantially improving Taiwan's relations with rival China.

Ma's indictment Tuesday comes more than a year after his Nationalist Party was soundly defeated at the polls by the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party.

China cut off contacts with the self-governing island's government in May in protest at new President Tsai Ing-wen's refusal to acknowledge its claim that Taiwan and the Chinese mainland are part of a single Chinese nation.

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