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Ex-Cabinet official suspected of taking other bribes

2012/07/05 20:25:00

Taipei, July 5 (CNA) The Special Investigation Division (SID) under the Supreme Prosecutors Office said Thursday they suspected former Cabinet Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih may have taken bribes from other sources besides the owner of a Kaohsiung-based business.

The suspicion arose after Lin's mother, Shen Juo-lan, voluntarily submitted Wednesday NT$18 million (US$602,611) in Taiwanese currency that she received from Lin to the SID .

According to evidence secured by prosecutors, Lin, who is presently being held at Taipei Detention Center, received bribes in U.S. dollars worth NT$63 million from Chen Chi-hsiang to help Chen's company secure a slag treatment contract from a subsidiary of Taiwan-based China Steel.

SID officials said it would be illogical for Lin to convert U.S. dollars back into NT dollars because the action would lead to exchange-rate losses and would leave records at banks.

Prosecutors therefore suspected the money Shen received from Lin may have come from other bribes.

Prosecutors also discovered that Shen had saved large sums of cash, in both NT and US dollars, under a third party's name in a safety deposit box at a Taipei bank.

Shen was listed as a defendant Wednesday and was released on bail of NT$2 million. She was barred from leaving the country.

Meanwhile, local media reported Lin's father, Lin Hsien-pao, would voluntarily visit the SID to explain Lin's bribery case.

Chang Chin-feng, a spokesman for the SID, said the SID had not summoned Lin Hsien-pao for questioning, but said Lin was welcome to do so if he wished.

The bribery case first surfaced after Next Magazine reported June 27 that in 2010, while serving as a KMT lawmaker, Lin took the bribe of NT$63 million from Chen.

A day after the report was published, Lin filed an aggravated libel suit against Chen, although, in light of the present situation, the lawsuit will be dropped, said Lin's defense attorney, Chen Sung-dung, Thursday.

The scandal has tarnished the image of the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou, who has always stressed clean governance is one of his core principles.

(By Liu Shih-yi, Tsai Pei-chi and Ann Chen)