Appeals court may overturn Lin case, vice minister says

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

Thu, May 02, 2013 - Page 3

Vice Minister of Justice Wu Chen-huan (吳陳鐶) yesterday said the Taipei District Court’s ruling that former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世) had not violated the Anti-Corruption Act (貪汙治罪條例) might not hold up in a court of appeal.

“If prosecutors appeal the case, the appeals court [the Taiwan High Court] might have a different point of view on this case,” Wu told a meeting of the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, in response to criticism of the court’s ruling that Lin had only committed minor offenses and its lenient sentence.

The Taipei District Court on Tuesday sentenced Lin to seven years and four months in prison for accepting about NT$63 million (US$2.13 million) in bribes from a contractor.

The court said Lin had broken the law by using his power to threaten people to extort money and property.

The court ruled that Lin had not violated the Anti-Corruption Act because, as a lawmaker at the time, he was not in a position to influence with whom subsidiaries of state-owned China Steel Corp (CSC) should sign contracts.

Under the act, the crime of accepting bribes carries a minimum prison sentence of 10 years.

The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office’s Special Investigation Division said the district court’s judgement was not solid and the division would soon decide whether to appeal the case to the Taiwan High Court.

Lin said in a statement that he did not threaten anyone, nor did he profit from any threats, adding that he would appeal the case.

The indictment said Lin helped Kaohsiung-based Ti Yung Co secure a slag treatment contract from a CSC subsidiary in 2010, when he was a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator, in return for NT$63 million from Ti Yung owner Chen Chi-hsiang (陳啟祥).

Prosecutors said that after Lin was appointed secretary-general of the Executive Yuan last year, he demanded NT$83 million from Chen. When Chen refused to pay, Lin allegedly pressured CSC, a listed company in which the government has a controlling stake, to stop supplying slag to Ti Yung, the indictment said.