Premier Sean Chen (??) confirmed Lin Yi-shih’s (???) resignation yesterday at a ceremony marking Tax Day. Chen stated that Lin submitted his resignation yesterday morning after verbally offering his resignation the previous night.
Chen said that Lin made the decision after serious discussions with him, adding that he accepted the resignation, and will respect his decision. President Ma Ying-jeou also said he respects the Executive Yuan’s decision, stating that previous reports of Ma demanding Lin to resign were false.
The resignation came after a series of bribery allegations were published by local media. Lin allegedly requested a bribe of NT$63 million from Kaohsiung-based Ti Yung Co.’s chief Chen Chi-hsiang.
It was also claimed that he asked for a bribe of NT$83 million as part of a business deal with China Steel Corp. (CSC).
Lin immediately held two press conferences pronouncing his innocence and later filed lawsuits against Next magazine and businessperson Chen for defamation.
Chen said in a statement following his resignation that he is sincerely sorry for causing inconvenience caused to the Cabinet by the incident.
“My commitment to integrity has not once changed since becoming a politician. More time is needed as I am challenged to contest this political conspiracy. The resignation will act as a sign of defense for my innocence as I take more time to deal with judicial procedures.”
Ma accepted Lin’s resignation with respect, while expressing appreciation for Lin’s previous government service, according to spokesperson Lee Chia-fei (???).
Ma reiterated the importance of a transparent, uncorrupted government, emphasising that there is absolutely no tolerance for any gray area, expressing that he will fully support the judicial procedures that are needed, said Lee.
DPP Demands Apology
Following Lin’s resignation, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokesperson Wang Min-sheng (???) expressed the party’s concern about the allegedly corrupt Cabinet.
The DPP is demanding an apology from the government for the damage brought by the scandal, Wang said. Investigators should announce their findings to the public for the benefit of the people, they added.
DPP legislator Chao Tien-lin (???) yesterday held a press conference, claiming to reveal details of a recorded cellphone conversation between Lin and businessperson Chen.
Although Chao could not present the tape itself at the conference, he gave a concise description of the 10-minute conversation, explaining in detail the code words and phrases that were used. He added that the recordings were provided by an associate of the Ti Yung Co. businessperson, who kept the tape for the sake of safety reasons.
In response to the recordings, Lin defiantly denied the DPP legislator’s claims. Lin demanded explanation for the questionable action of sending evidence to a DPP legislator instead of the Special Investigation Team, and raised questions about the source of the information. He also expressed willingness to follow judicial procedures and meet with the investigation team if the tape was to become public.
Chen’s Whereabouts Unknown
As the whereabouts of businessperson Chen remain unknown, the investigation team will not rule out issuing a capias warrant. According to police, Chen did not appear after he was summoned to testify about the bribery claims he made. “He is obliged to initiate a meeting with us if he cannot appear on the appointed date,” the officials said.
According to Lin’s defense lawyer, they have plans to meet with prosecutors to explain the case, but officials responded that is irrelevant for the time being.
Prosecutors explained that because the bribery allegations were based on media reports, which lack proof of evidence, charges against Lin would not be possible. They stated that the investigation team would need to gather more evidence and information before they can press charges.
Following Lin’s resignation, Executive Yuan spokesperson, Hu Yo-wei has confirmed that the deputy Secretary-General Steven Chen (??” will substitute Lin for the time being before a new Secretary-General is assigned.