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VP denies meddling in China Steel personnel appointments

2012/07/11 21:57:53

Taipei, July 11 (CNA) Vice President Wu Den-yih said Wednesday he did not meddle in the selection of the general manager and chairman of Kaohsiung-based China Steel Corp. (CSC) during his tenure as premier.

A Next Magazine report released earlier in the day linked Wu to a high-profile bribery case involving former Cabinet Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih.

The Special Investigation Division (SID) under the Supreme Prosecutor Office said the magazine report was not worth investigating because it did not make much of a case against Wu.

In the report, the magazine speculated about Wu's role in the appointment of the top two executives of CSC, in which the government's has a controlling stake.

Asked about the news story, Wu told reporters on the sidelines of a "Free China" historic sailing boat welcoming ceremony in Keelung thatit was completely unfounded.

He said that on Dec. 26, 2007, before President Ma Ying-jeou took office, the government stipulated that the Ministry of Economic Affairs was responsible for selecting the chairmen and general managers of CSC, state-owned enterprises and semi-state-owned companies and submitting the names to the Cabinet for approval.

"This was the procedure followed in the appointment of the CSC's current chairman and general manager," Wu said.

The appointments were made by the economics ministry after approval by the Cabinet secretary-general, vice premier and premier, he noted.

"I just followed the set rules in approving the appointments and did not meddle in the selection," Wu said.

In June, Next Magazine reported that Chen Chi-hsiang, the owner of Dih Yeon Industrial Co., had paid US$1.93 million in bribes to Lin in exchange for help in obtaining a contact from a CSC subsidiary for steel slag treatment.

In its latest report, the magazine quoted Chen as saying that Lin once told him: " I will totally take care of anything regarding Vice President Wu."

"Lin never hesitated to highlight his strong friendships with senior government and ruling party policy makers," the tabloid quoted Chen as saying.

Lin has been held incommunicado since July 2 after confessing to taking bribes from Chen during Lin's tenure as a legislator two years ago.

Lin was appointed Cabinet secretary-general shortly after he lost a legislative re-election bid in January. He resigned from the Cabinet post amid allegations that he had accepted a kickback from Dih Yeon and later demanded an additional amount of NT$83 million.

Chen reportedly rejected that demand and decided to go to Next Magazine with the story. He has since turned state witness.

(By Hsieh Jia-chen and Sofia Wu)
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