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AIT condemns Wikileaks, refuses to verify information

ROC Central News Agency

2011/09/06 18:12:08

By Emmanuelle Tzeng and James Lee

Taipei, Sept. 6 (CNA) In response to the brouhaha caused by the recently released diplomatic cables on Wikileaks regarding President Ma Ying-jeou's green card status, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) on Tuesday condemned the leaks and refused to verify the information.

According to one cable dated June 23, 2008, in a section headed "U.S. Arms Sales; Ma's Former Green Card," opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen is said to have "asked about President Ma's green card status."

"The (AIT Taipei's) Director responded in general terms that cases involving green card status are complex," the cable read, which the DPP has interpreted as an indication that Ma's green card was still valid.

"We strongly condemn any illegal disclosure of classified information," Christopher Kavanagh, AIT Taipei's spokesman, said in response to CNA's questions on the issue.

"In some other parts of the world, releasing the names of individuals cited in conversations that took place in confidence potentially puts their lives or careers at risk," Kavanagh said.

When asked if the contents of the cable were true, he said "we can't speak to the authenticity of any of the documents posted by Wikileaks."

The green card issue first surfaced in the 2008 presidential election campaign, when the DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh accused Ma of still having a valid green card that would make him ineligible to serve as Taiwan's president.

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