The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus yesterday kept the pressure on the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID), saying the slow pace of its probe into the case of alleged corruption involving former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世) could be politically motivated.
“The SID has voluntarily imposed restrictions on its investigation, including the scope and the timing of the probe, and that was why people have doubts over its determination to find the truth,” DPP Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) told a press conference.
The lawmaker said the SID immediately cleared Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) of the possibility of wrongdoing on Wednesday after the Chinese-language Next Magazine, published on the same day, reported that Wu Den-yih could be involved in the corruption case.
“You can’t say that the possibility [of Wu Den-yih’s involvement] does not exist. As criminal investigators, the SID’s attitude is highly questionable,” he said.
Wu Ping-jui, a judge-turned-politician, mentioned several suspicions about the SID’s probe since the scandal broke on June 26.
The division did not launch its investigation until four or five days after the scandal broke, leaving time for collusion between Lin, who was accused of accepting bribes of at least NT$63 million (US$2.15 million), and his family, and for destroying evidence, Wu Ping-jui said.
The SID has also been slow in subpoenaing possible suspects and expanding its investigation into metal recycling companies other than Ti Yung Co, which allegedly bribed Lin to secure contracts from China Steel Corp (CSC) and its subsidiaries, including CHC Resource Corp and Chung Yao Corp.
If Ti Yung had to bribe to win contracts, other companies could have had to do the same, Wu Ping-jui said, adding that the role of Chung Yao Corp was suspicious because the one-man company with a capital of NT$5 million was able to act as the CSC’s subcontractor.
“It seemed to me that the SID has been focusing only on the Lin family, despite everyone knowing that the Lins could not do this alone,” Wu Ping-jui said.
“Is the SID tying its own hands because it knows further investigation could hurt the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)? I hope the answer is negative,” he said.
The SID has not been known for neutrality in its relentless and aggressive investigations of pan-green politicians and connivance with the pan-blue camp, he said.
“There is no better time for the SID to clear its name than now,” Wu Ping-jui said.
Meanwhile, Wu Den-yih had a change of mind yesterday and said he would not file a lawsuit against a local political commentator and Next Magazine over what he called groundless accusations.
Wu Den-yih had threatened on Tuesday to file a lawsuit against anyone who made groundless allegations against him after political commentator Hu Chung-hsin (胡忠信) said on a political talk show on Monday night that a high-ranking government official was also involved in the corruption scandal, claiming that “Mr X” introduced businessman Chen Chi-hsiang (陳啟祥) to Lin.
The Next Magazine report on Wednesday further alleged that Wu Den-yih and his wife had lived in the same community as Chen’s father-in-law in Nantou, and that Chen had first gone to Wu Den-yih for help when he was serving as premier.