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Taiwan's former Cabinet secretary-general indicted for graft

Publication Date : 26-10-2012

 

The Special Investigation Division (SID) yesterday indicted Taiwan's former Cabinet Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih on four bribery-related charges, claiming that Lin's actions facilitated Ti Yung Co. in obtaining a contract from China Steel.

The SID also prosecuted Lin's mother Shen Juo-lan, wife Peng Ai-chia, and two uncles on related charges.

Chen Chi-hsiang, the owner of Ti Yung., is alleged to have bribed Lin. Chen was yesterday sent to the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office for further investigation.

SID spokesman Chen Hung-ta explained that the highest punishment for officials who receive bribes is a life sentence. Lin also has three other charges against him.

According to local reports, Lin has maintained that he did receive the money, but did not and could not personally give orders to China Steel. Thus, he committed fraud instead of bribery.

Prosecutors, however, referred to the case of former President Chen Shui-bian and the case of Kakuei Tanaka in Japan, stating that although Lin was not directly in charge of China Steel's business, he could still influence its decision through both his position as a legislator and as the Cabinet's secretary-general.

The indictment states that while Lin was serving as a legislator two years ago he received money from Chen and made a phone call to China Steel's then-general manager Tsou Jou-chi. Lin, the indictment says, demanded Tsou renew the contract and as a result Ti Yung was able to obtain its raw materials.

The indictment also says that originally Ti Yung was not qualified to procure Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) slag. Because of Lin this assessment was altered and the company joined the procurement. As a result, another company — the name of which has not been publicly released — was forced to reduce its share of BOF slag by one-third, giving Ti Yung that portion.

From the safes of both Lin's wife and uncles, police have found NT$15.8 million. Lin has failed to explain the origin of the money. The SID indicted Lin for property crimes of unknown origin — that is, keeping unaccountable assets. Lin is the first person to be indicted for this crime in Taiwan.

The SID also found a separate NT$48 million, US$356,500, and 210,000 yuan in Lin's relatives' accounts and safes.

The SID deemed that of this larger sum, US$317,500 and NT$20 million (US$683,600) was part of the bribe. The rest of the bribe includes NT$3 million, which the police have not found, and US$950,000 allegedly burned by Lin's mother. Lin is required to give the NT$3 million and US$950,000 to the police. The rest of Lin's money was determined to be unrelated to the bribery allegations.

The SID said they have summoned three individuals who alleged that Vice President Wu Den-yih met in 2011 with Chen, Lin and Tsou — who at that time was the chairman of China Steel — in relation to these alleged bribes. These three people were a political commentator, Hu Chung-hsin; a citizen surnamed Hung, and Hung's source Dai, a Kaohsiung city councilor. The SID said that these three individuals failed to provide evidence that the vice president was involved in China Steel's case. Dai told the SID that any information he had was acquired via hearsay. The SID considers the vice president to not be involved in this matter.

Lin has responded to claims of a tape recording which has Lin demanding more money “to share with others for getting the job done.” Lin said there were no other people involved, and that any reference to other people was simply an excuse for him to ask for more money.

The SID said they believe Lin as he passed a polygraph test for this section of the interview.

*US$=29.2 Taiwan dollars

 

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