Taipei, June 30 (CNA) The man who accused former Cabinet Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih of bribery was questioned by prosecutors Saturday, after being in hiding for several days.
Chen Chi-hsiang, the owner of Kaohsiung-based Ti Yung Co. has now been listed as a defendant, said Chen Hung-ta, spokesman for the Special Investigation Division (SID) of the Supreme Prosecutors Office.
Chen Chi-hsiang was originally listed as an informant and witness of the case, but since he was involved in "bribing" a government official, the SID has now listed him as a defendant, the spokesman said.
In a news release, the SID said Chen Chi-hsiang has retained three lawyers. In his role as a witness, he was not allowed to bring lawyers with him, the SID said.
The SID refused to confirm reports that Chen Chi-hsiang had in his possession a "key tape recording" that proved Lin had asked for a bribe of an additional NT$83 million.
The SID also said it could summon Lin, who has maintained his innocence, for questioning next week.
The SID asked Chen Chi-hsiang to come forward after a local magazine reported earlier this week that Lin had received a bribe of NT$63 million from Chen to help Ti Yung 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.
The SID began an investigation into the matter after the report was published. It summoned Chen Chi-hsiang and requested the CSC to provide relevant information.
According to Chen Chi-hsiang, he and his friend went to Lin's home in Kaohsiung on March 10 to discuss how to pass over the NT$83 million.
Lin's wife and parents were also present during the meeting, he said.
Prosecutors said they would hear Chen Chi-hsiang's side of story first, and would later summon all those who were allegedly present that day and related CSC officials.
(By Liu Shih-Yi and Lilian Wu)