At the first hearing in the Taipei District Court yesterday of former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih’s (林益世) corruption case, Lin wept while denying the charges and said his role in the case had been in service of the people and that a recording used against him had been tampered with.
The case against Lin started on June 27, when a local magazine reported that he helped Kaohsiung-based Ti Yung Co (地勇選礦公司) to secure a slag treatment contract from a subsidiary of China Steel Corp (CSC) in 2010, when Lin served as a legislator of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
In return, Ti Yung Co owner Chen Chi-hsiang (陳啟祥) gave Lin NT$63 million (US$2.1 million), the indictment said.
Chen handed prosecutors two recordings of Lin allegedly negotiating with him about bribes, after his company allegedly failed to renew its slag treatment contract with the CSC subsidiary because he refused Lin’s request for a further bribe, according to prosecutors.
On Oct. 25, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID) indicted Lin on charges of demanding bribes, accepting bribes, concealing illegal gains and keeping unaccountable assets.
During the court hearing yesterday, presiding judge Chi Kai-feng (紀凱峰) said that aside from the charges brought against Lin by the SID, Lin may also have violated the Anti-Corruption Act (貪汙治罪條例) and the Criminal Code by allegedly taking advantage of his position as a government official to ask for a bribe through intimidation.
Though society has condemned Lin, the court should avoid tyranny of the majority and treat the issue according to the law, using the principles of nulla poena sine lege (Latin for “no penalty without a law”) and presumption of innocence when judging the case, Chi said.
Lin burst into tears upon hearing the statement and denied all the charges, saying that he had never thought of accepting bribes or had done anything that would go against the principles of his office. He denied that he had asked for bribes of NT$83 million.
Lin said he facilitated the deal between Ti Yung and the CSC subsidiary because one of his primary supporters, Kuo Jen-tsai (郭人才), had asked him to “help the voters.”
Chen offered the NT$63 million of his own initiative, Lin said, adding that the tape Chen had provided had been edited and was not the entirety of their conversation.