However, Lai was caught off guard when investigators showed her evidence, including wiretap transcript and witnesses’ testimony, they said.
Lai maintained that the NT$1 million was a political donation, adding that the money was returned to the consortium after it lost the contract.
Asked whether she had declared the sum under political donations, Lai said she had not, adding that she planned to do so at the next elections.
Lai’s alleged method of asking for the bribe — dividing it into three separate deliveries— appears similar to that of former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世) who, indicted on corruption charges, allegedly asked for bribes in three blocks of NT$30 million, NT$30 million and NT$23 million.
This has sparked jokes and spoofs on the Internet, with some netizens joking that dividing bribes into three separate installments has seemingly become “the standard operation procedure for crooked officials.”
Additional reporting by Shih Hsiao-kuang and CNA