Executive Yuan Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih (林益世) yesterday filed a lawsuit against a magazine and a businessman who accused him of accepting a bribe in exchange for helping him with a procurement contract.
Lin was accused of accepting NT$63 million (US$2.15 million) from Ti Yung Co (地勇選礦公司) after allegedly helping it secure procurement contracts with state-run China Steel Corp (中鋼) and two of its subsidiary companies in 2010, and of asking for NT$83 million again this year from Ti Yung.
Chen Chi-hsiang (陳啟祥), the head of Ti Yung, made the allegations in a story published by the Chinese-language Next Magazine on Wednesday.
“I absolutely did not take any bribes two years ago and I did not use my power to ask China Steel Corp to suspend supply of materials to Ti Yung after Ti Yung rejected my demand [as the reported alleged],” Lin told a press conference late last night.
Lin reiterated that he was innocent after spending the whole day yesterday collecting documents and contacting his friends in a bid to prove that Chen was just one of many constituents he had served when he was a lawmaker.
A man surnamed Kuo (郭) told the press conference he felt sorry for getting Lin into trouble because he did a friend a favor two years ago by introducing Chen to Lin to help him with his business.
Lin and Chen never talked about money when they met, Kuo said.
After the Next Magazine report came out, Lin told reporters on Wednesday that he remembered meeting Chen only once and that was on March 10 this year at his home.
However, two photographs published by the Chinese-language United Daily News (UDN) yesterday contradicted his statement.
The paper published a photograph of Lin and Chen coming out of a building and another one of Chen talking to Lin while the two walked toward a parked vehicle. It said the photos were taken on March 10 last year.
The paper said that the photographs were provided by “readers.”
Lin said yesterday that the two UDN photos were from March 10 last year, when he met Chen at the office of CHC Resources (中聯資源), one of the two China Steel subsidiaries.
He said he did not talk with Chen about Ti Yung, adding that he was there only to offer his congratulations to the new head of CHC Resources, which has business dealings with Ti Yung, and that he “stayed for only about 10 minutes.”
“It’s normal that I attended the occasion because I was then a lawmaker. When I arrived, Chen was already there,” Lin said.
Lin was asked by reporters to clarify Chen’s allegation that they had met twice this year at his home, as reported in Next Magazine, and that he had demanded a bribe of NT$83 million.
Lin said he did meet with Chen on Feb. 25 and March 10 this year, but said he had never asked for money from Chen.
“[Chen] wanted me to help him with some difficulties in his business. I told him he needed to clarify what the difficulties were, so I would know how I could help him,” Lin said.
Lin filed a defamation suit against Next Magazine and Chen at the Shilin District Prosecutors’ Office last night.
Earlier yesterday, Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) said he hoped Lin would face up to the allegations and offer a clearer explanation.
Lin said he would decide whether to resign at a later time.
The pan-green camp yesterday called for the Supreme Prosecutors Office’s Special Investigation Division (SID) to launch a thorough investigation into the allegations and urged Lin to step down.