Sun, Jul 15, 2012 - Page 3 News List

SID rebuts reports that Lin lobbied for chief prosecutors

By Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporter

The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID) yesterday dismissed media reports alleging that five chief prosecutors had asked former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世) to lobby the Ministry of Justice for their current positions.

Lin has been detained at the Taipei Detention Center since July 2 after he was accused of taking NT$63 million (US$2.1 million) in 2010 from businessman Chen Chi-hsiang (陳啟祥) in exchange for helping him secure a slag treatment contract from state-controlled China Steel Corp and of asking for NT$83 million this year to ensure a continuation of the contract.

Local media reported yesterday that in Lin’s notes — seized on July 1 when investigators searched Lin’s residences in Greater Kaohsiung — the names of five chief prosecutors were listed along with what positions they wanted him to lobby for.

As a result of the discovery, the ministry decided to suspend a proposed reshuffle for chief prosecutors nationwide that was initially scheduled to take place this week and has asked the five to explain the matter, local media reported.

In response to the media reports, the SID yesterday said in a press statement that after checking all documents seized on July 1, prosecutors did not find in Lin’s notes any mention of the chief prosecutors.

Deputy Minister of Justice Chen Shou-huang (陳守煌) added that Lin had never lobbied the ministry about chief prosecutors’ positions.

In related developments, the SID on Friday night interviewed political commentator Hu Chung-hsin (胡忠信), who on a political talk show on Monday night alleged that a high-ranking government official whom he termed “Mr X” had introduced Chen Chi-hsiang to Lin.

The Democratic Progressive Party has said it suspected the “Mr X” might be Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) and called on investigators to initiate a quick and thorough probe into the corruption allegations.

The SID said late on Friday night that after an interview with Hu, prosecutors found that he did not have any solid evidence indicating the involvement of a high-ranking government official in illegal matters as he had claimed. As such, investigators have decided not to follow up the claims, it said.

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