Former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世) was released on NT$50 million (US$1.7 million) yesterday afternoon.
Lin, who has been detained by prosecutors since July 2, was granted bail early yesterday by the Taipei District Court following his indictment on corruption-related charges on Thursday, but he was not released immediately because he failed to come up with the required amount at the time.
Lin is accused of demanding and accepting bribes, concealing illegal gains and keeping unaccountable assets, according to the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID).
Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times
Lin’s release sparked an outcry from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers.
“Taiwan’s judiciary is morally bankrupt,” DPP Legislator Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) said.
DPP Legislator Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) described it as “iron-clad evidence of political interference in the judicial process.”
Some netizens also reacted to reports that Lin’s family was able to come up with NT$50 million for bail within 20 hours.
“For most people, it would take 100 years to round up that amount,” one netizen commented.
“Has the government gone crazy?” another wrote. “Corrupt people can post money to be released on bail?”
A netizen using the name “ming_ray” said: “No wonder Mr Ma Ying-jeou promised to make people feel good about the economy within one month. Now we have the state coffers earning NT$50 million. This is quite a good, credible promise!”
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾), who has frequently drawn the party’s ire with her comments, said: “The KMT government should not dig its own grave just to protect Lin.”
“The SID should publicly explain the many questions surrounding the case, or else the public will have no confidence in the judiciary,” Lo said.
KMT caucus whip Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), on the other hand, said that DPP members involved in corruption cases such as Yunlin County Commissioner Su Chih-fen (蘇治芬) and DPP Legislator Chen Ming-wen (陳明文) had also been released upon posting bail, adding that there was no difference in treatment between pan-blue and pan-green politicians.
Lin’s case came to light on June 27 when a local magazine reported that he helped Kaohsiung-based Ti Yung Co (地勇選礦公司地勇選礦公司) to secure a slag treatment contract from a subsidiary of China Steel Corp (CSC, 中鋼) in 2010, when Lin was serving as a KMT legislator.
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’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 his two 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 said.
Chen, who gave testimony against Lin as a witness for the prosecutors in the investigation, was under investigation in a separate case by the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office.
Additional reporting by Chien Li -chung
‘NO EQUILIBRIUM’: Taiwan’s increased defense spending is a good step, but it needs to do more to have the ability to deter aggression from China, a senior US official said The US plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems — including mines, cruise missiles and drones — to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said. Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which US military sales to Taiwan were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing. However, US President Donald Trump’s administration has this year become more aggressive with China, and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, lingering trade tensions, disputes about the
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
ON THEIR OWN: The KMT has decided not to participate as a party at this year’s forum, and if any members do go, they would not be representing the party, Alicia Wang said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not send a delegation “as a political party” to this year’s Straits Forum, after a Chinese TV program described the planned visit to the annual meeting as “suing for peace.” The 12th forum is scheduled to open in Xiamen, China, on Saturday. On Tuesday last week, the KMT announced that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would lead the party’s delegation to the forum, with KMT Secretary-General Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) as deputy head. However, on Thursday last week, China Central Television’s (CCTV) Yangshipin (央視頻) program, hosted by Li Hong (李紅), included a headline
WORKING OVERTIME? NTU professor Lee Duu-jong denied that he had held a part-time position at a Chinese university or joined China’s Thousand Talents Program A candidate for the post of National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) president yesterday dropped out of the race following a report questioning his links to Chinese academia and government programs. Lee Duu-jong (李篤中), a professor at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) chemical engineering department, was a member of China’s Changjiang Scholars’ Program in 2006 and was on the list of its Thousand Talents Program in 2017, a report by Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine said yesterday. The article said that Lee is suspected of having held a part-time job at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China and was the recipient