The Ministry of National Defense yesterday confirmed media reports that former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世), who is currently the subject of a widening investigation into a major corruption case, once lobbied the military on behalf of a military officer for the rank of major general.
Lin, who is being held at the Taipei Detention Center, is accused of accepting a NT$63 million (US$2.15 million) bribe to help Ti Yung Co (地勇選礦公司), a Kaohsiung-based company, secure a slag treatment contract from a subsidiary of China Steel Corp (中鋼公司).
The Chinese-language Apple Daily reported yesterday that Colonel Liu Chuan-hsu (劉全旭), director of the Political Warfare Department’s Air Defense Artillery Command, late last year asked his brother-in-law to ask Lin to lobby for a promotion on his behalf. The newspaper said Lin, at the time a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip, wrote a letter recommending Liu and delivered it to the ministry.
The newspaper said that in February, when Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu (高華柱) discussed the annual military budget with Lin, he was asked about Liu’s promotion.
The newspaper added that Kao said at a meeting of senior military officials in May that “there are people who are asking elected officials to press me for a promotion to major general. Do not have people lobby me.”
Political Warfare Department Acting Director-General Wang Ming-wo (王明我) said yesterday there were only two major general positions in the air force’s political warfare units and the two current holders have no intention of retiring.
The ministry’s press office yesterday confirmed the ministry had received a letter of recommendation from Lin, but said that the ministry deals with promotions in accordance with regulations and it would not be influenced by external factors.
In related news, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID) summoned Kuo Jen-tsai (郭人才), a close friend of Lin who allegedly acted as a middleman two years ago between Lin, who was a lawmaker at the time, and Chen Chi-hsiang (陳啟祥), the owner of Ti Yung Co, for questioning as a witness yesterday.
Meanwhile, Lin’s mother, Shen Juo-lan (沈若蘭), failed prosecutors’ polygraph test on Monday.
Shen allegedly stuffed NT$18 million into plastic bags and threw them into a pond in her backyard and she is also suspected of burning an unknown amount of US dollars before investigators raided Lin’s residence in Greater Kaohsiung’s Fongshan District (鳳山).