Judges apply for formal evaluation

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

Wed, May 08, 2013 - Page 3

The three Taipei District Court judges who presided over the case of former Executive Yuan secretary-general Lin Yi-shih (林益世) yesterday applied to be evaluated by the Judge Evaluation Committee of their own accord after the sentence they handed down prompted anger and criticism.

Taipei District Court spokesman Huang Chun-min (黃俊明) said judges Wu Chiu-hung (吳秋宏), Lin Meng-huang (林孟皇) and Ji Kai-feng (紀凱豐) applied separately to be evaluated by the committee.

Huang said the applications were in accordance with the Judges’ Act (法官法). The committee, which consists of judges, prosecutors, lawyers and law specialists, will decide whether the ruling and hearing process in Lin’s case was flawed.

Anger and bewilderment over what critics said was a comparatively light sentence for Lin prompted many to take to the Internet to vent their frustration.

Lin Meng-huang said in a statement that the ruling has become controversial and is impacting the judiciary’s credibility.

He said the media criticized the court’s decision by saying “the courts are run by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT),” “politics have interfered in the judicial system” and “the court handled the case with a political bias.”

In response, Lin Meng-huang said he decide to allow the case be evaluated by the independent committee.

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

The court said that even though Lin broke the law by using his power to threaten people for money and held property from unidentified sources, he had not violated the Anti-Corruption Act (貪汙治罪條例).

As such, several of his relatives, who were also on trial, were declared not guilty of money laundering.

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

Prosecutors said that after Lin Yi-shih was appointed secretary-general of the Executive Yuan last year, he demanded NT$83 million from Chen.

When Chen refused to pay, Lin Yi-shih pressured China Steel Corp to stop supplying slag to Ti Yung, the indictment said.