Former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世) was indicted yesterday on corruption-related charges, prosecutors said.
Lin was accused of demanding bribes, pocketing about NT$60 million (US$2 million) in bribes, concealing illegal gains and keeping unaccountable assets, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID) said.
Although prosecutors did not seek a specific sentence for Lin, the crime of accepting bribes alone carries a minimum prison sentence of 10 years.
SID spokesman Chen Hung-ta (陳宏達) said the prosecutors did not specify a sentence for Lin because the Control Yuan has deemed the practice inappropriate.
Lin’s case came to light on June 27 when a local magazine reported that he helped Kaohsiung-based Ti Yung Co (地勇選礦公司) secure a slag treatment contract from a subsidiary of China Steel Corp (CSC, 中鋼) in 2010, when Lin was serving as a legislator of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
In return, Ti Yung owner Chen Chi-hsiang (陳啟祥) gave Lin NT$63 million, the indictment read.
The magazine reported that Lin demanded a further NT$83 million from Chen early this year after he was appointed Cabinet secretary-general. When Chen refused to pay up, Lin allegedly pressured CSC, a listed company in which the government has a controlling stake, to stop supplying slag to Ti Yung.
Lin, 42, was taken into custody by prosecutors for investigation on July 2.
Lin’s mother, Shen Juo-lan (沈若蘭), who allegedly received the bribe along with Lin, was indicted as another principal offender in the case, according to the indictment.
Lin’s wife, Peng Ai-chia (彭愛佳), and two of his maternal uncles — Shen Huan-yao (沈煥瑤) and Shen Huan-chang (沈煥璋) — were charged with money laundering for concealing the bribe on behalf of Lin, the indictment read.
Chen Chi-hsiang, who gave testimony against Lin as a witness for the prosecutors, was under investigation in a separate case by the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office.
Executive Yuan spokesperson Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文) said the Cabinet had no further comment other than that it respected the investigation conducted by the judiciary and hoped it would adhere to the principles of justice and fairness.
KMT Legislator Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟), convener of the legislative Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, said there was still room for argument as to whether Lin is guilty and which laws would be applied to the case when it is tried in court.
Lin and his attorney could argue that Lin was not in a position to decide whom subsidiary companies of state-owned enterprises sign contracts with because Lin — either as a lawmaker or KMT policy committee chief then — did not have that kind of power, Lu said.
Prosecutors applied articles under the Anti-Corruption Act (貪汙治罪條例) to indict Lin, but it is debatable whether the act was applicable to Lin’s case, Lu said, adding: “Lin did have a say in contract matters, but he did not have the final say.”
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said “it was not a surprise that Lin was indicted, but the results the SID announced were a lot different from what most people had expected. Does the indictment indeed reflect the entire picture of the case?”
DPP Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) said that while he would comment further after reading the indictment, it appeared the SID had already “drawn a red line” before making the indictment.
Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信) said it was strange that Lin’s father, Lin Hsien-pao (林仙保), who was present at the meeting between Lin and Chen Chi-hsiang, had never been subpoenaed by the investigators and the SID had not offered an explanation of the omission.
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
Japan’s ruling party yesterday proposed the nation’s biggest-ever stimulus package of ￥60 trillion (US$554 billion) as the COVID-19 pandemic locks the economy in a recession. The sum includes ￥20 trillion in fiscal measures with private initiatives and other elements likely making up the rest, the proposal by the Liberal Democratic Party showed. More than ￥10 trillion, or the equivalent of a 5 percentage point cut in the sales tax rate, would be handed out to the public in a combination of cash, subsidies and coupons, the plan showed. The proposal puts an initial figure on a stimulus package that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo
Malaysian authorities have advised women to wear makeup, not to nag their husbands and speak with a cartoon character’s soothing voice during the virus lockdown, sparking a flood of mockery online. Like many countries, Malaysia has ordered all citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, which, as of yesterday, had killed at least 39,070 people globally. In a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, the Malaysian Ministry of Women and Family Development issued advice on how to avoid domestic conflicts during the partial lockdown, which began on March 18. One of the campaign posters depicted