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Cabinet official sues businessman, magazine for aggravated libel

2012/06/28 21:42:38

Taipei, June 28 (CNA) The Executive Yuan's Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih filed a libel suit Thursday against a businessman who told a magazine that Lin had taken bribes from him for helping him secure a business contract two years ago.

Before Lin went to the court to file the aggravated libel suit, he told the media he had "absolutely not taken any bribe" or "pressured anyone after I failed to get bribe."

The prosecution in the meantime was trying to question the owner of a Kaohsiung-based company as part of an investigation into the alleged corruption involving Lin.

Lin was accused by Chen Chi-hsiang -- the owner of Kaohsiung-based Ti Yung Co. -- of having taken bribes from him.

According to a Next Magazine report, Lin received a bribe of NT$63 million (US$2.1 million) from Chen to help his company secure a slag treatment contract from China Steel Corp. (CSC) two years ago when Lin was a legislator of the ruling Kuomintang.

Lin later demanded a further NT$83 million from Chen between February and March this year, according to the report. When Chen refused to pay up, Lin in April pressured CSC to stop supplying slag to Ti Yung for treatment, according to the magazine.

Claiming his innocence, Lin sued Chen and the Next Magazine's editor-in-chief Pei Wei and two others for aggravated libel.

Lin's lawyer Lai Su-ju said Chen's "disclosure" to the magazine was totally fabricated and she would like to tell the Special Investigation Division under the Supreme Prosecutors Office all the facts Friday.

Lai challenged Chen to appear before the prosecutors and tell his version of the story.

CSC, a public listed company in which the government has a stake, issued a statement denying its business could be obtained only through lobbying or "special connections."

CSC has all along maintained a consistent principle of fairly and reasonably supplying products to clients, said the statement.

(By Liu Shih-ui, Chang Che-fon and S.C. Chang)