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Former senior official jailed for corruption (Update)

2013/04/30 19:21:28

Lin Yi-shih (in white) reports to his local police station Tuesday evening.

Taipei, April 30 (CNA) Lin Yi-shih, a former Cabinet secretary-general and legislator of the ruling Kuomintang, was sentenced Tuesday by a district court to seven years and four months in prison for corruption.

Lin, 44, was also fined NT$15.8 million (US$535,000) and stripped of his civil rights for five years by the Taipei District Court, which found him guilty of seeking to profit by intimidation while serving as a public official, as well as owning assets from dubious sources.

Four other defendants in the case -- his wife Perng Ai-chia, his mother Shen Ruo-lan and two maternal uncles -- were acquitted on money laundering charges.

Lin's lawyer said the defendant, who was released on bail in late October, will study the verdict before deciding whether to appeal.

Lin was a top official of President Ma Ying-jeou's government and the ruling party. He was appointed secretary-general of the Executive Yuan in February 2012, less than a month after losing his re-election bid as a legislator representing the second district of Kaohsiung.

The scandal broke in June when a local magazine reported that Lin, while serving as a legislator in 2010, accepted a bribe of NT$63 million (US$2.1 million) to help a private company, Dih Yeon Industrial Co., secure a contract to buy slag from China Steel, a Kaohsiung-based listed company in which the government has a controlling stake.

The bribe was paid by Chen Chi-hsiang, the owner of Dih Yeon, in the southern port city.

Between February and March 2012, after being given his new job at the Executive Yuan, Lin allegedly demanded a further NT$83 million from Chen.

When Chen refused to pay, Lin allegedly pressured China Steel to stop supplying slag to Dih Yeon.

Chen subsequently exposed Lin by talking to the media and prosecutors. His own indictment on bribery charges has been suspended in return for his cooperation with the authorities as a witness.

Lin was acquitted on bribe-taking charges because the court ruled that his lobbying of China Steel officials, who are not civil servants, had nothing to do with his responsibilities as a legislator.

According to the court decision, Lin's influence comes from his connections both locally and within the ruling party and that his lobbying did not constitute a breach of duty on account of bribery.

(By Tsai Pei-chi and Jay Chen)