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Sum of cash submitted by ex-Cabinet official's mother checks out

2012/07/10 19:35:44

Taipei, July 10 (CNA) After a careful count, prosecutors have found that the mother of former Cabinet secretary-general and bribery suspect Lin Yi-shih handed over to them around NT$18 million (US$600,827) as she claimed, the mother's lawyer said Tuesday.

Lin's mother, Shen Juo-lan, handed the money over to the Special Investigation Division under the Supreme Prosecutors Office on July 4, but it took several days to tally because the damp notes needed to dry out before being counted, lawyer Chen Chun-sheng said.

According to prosecutors, Shen told them that she threw the money into a pond in her home's backyard in Kaohsiung when Lin's case was first exposed by a local weekly in late June and then retrieved it not long before handing it over.

Shen voluntarily brought the funds to the Special Investigation Division two days after her son was taken into custody for his alleged involvement in a bribery case on July 2.

She was listed as a possible defendant in Lin's case for allegedly hiding illegal gains and was released on NT$2 million bail after beingquestioned on July 4.

To date, the source of the NT$18 million, and whether it was related to the bribes Lin allegedly took, remains unclear.

During their investigation of the case, prosecutors have also seized both U.S. and Taiwan dollars in several bank deposit boxes under the name of Shen, Lin's wife, and people connected to Lin's family.

The total has exceeded the NT$63 million Lin allegedly took in bribes from businessman Chen Chi-hsiang in 2010 to help Chen's company secure a slag treatment contract from a subsidiary of Taiwan-based China Steel, in which the government has a controlling stake.

Lin's demand of a further NT$$83 million this year was rejected by Chen, who claimed his contract with China Steel was subsequently suspended as a result.

Chen, who provided audio tapes of his and Lin's conversation as evidence, has now turned state's witness in the prosecutors' case against Lin.

(By Liu Shih-yi and Kay Liu)