Presidential Office Secretary-General Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) yesterday denied playing a role in a corruption scandal involving former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世), threatening to take legal action to defend his reputation.
In a statement, Tseng, the former deputy legislative speaker who was appointed to his post at the Presidential Office in February, dismissed the allegations against him, after political commentators said on a TV political talk show on Thursday night that “another secretary-general at a higher level” was also involved in the scandal.
Tseng said he did not engage in illegal acts related to the operation and personnel arrangements of state-run China Steel Corp (CSC) and its subsidiaries, including CHC Resource Corp and Chung Yao Corp.
Although the commentators and Chinese-language newspapers carried stories about the accusations, which did not specify the official involved, the description of the official as a central government-level secretary-general and a former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmaker made it clear that the accusations were against him, Tseng said.
“I am willing to accept public examination of my integrity, but I cannot accept vicious allegations and indirect accusations. I will take legal action against anyone who directly accuses me of being involved in the corruption case,” he said.
Tseng is the second top-level official in President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration who has been accused of being involved in the corruption scandal, in addition to Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義).
On June 27, the Chinese-language Next Magazine reported that Lin accepted NT$63 million (US$2.15 million) from Chen Chi-hsiang (陳啟祥), the owner of Ti Yung Co, in bribes in 2010 to help Chen secure contracts from CSC subsidiaries for steel slag treatment.
Lin has been held incommunicado since July 2 after allegedly confessing to accepting money from Chen during his tenure as a legislator two years ago.
In the magazine’s latest report on Wednesday, it quoted Chen as saying that Lin once told him: “I will take care of anything regarding Vice President Wu.”
Wu has denied playing a role in the corruption scandal.
Lin’s bribery case has delivered a serious blow to Ma, who has frequently drawn attention to his administration’s commitment to clean governance. Ma’s latest approval rating plunged to a new low of 15 percent.
Chen, who has qualified as a state witness under the Witness Protection Act (證人保護法), was questioned by the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID) for a third time yesterday.
SID spokesman John Chang (張進豐) declined to comment on content of the questioning.
Additional reporting by CNA and staff writer