Bribery case against Ma ally Lin Yi-shih could widen
Taiwan prosecutors say probe continues after critics say others must be involved
Taiwanese prosecutors, seeking to stem a public outcry, said yesterday that a probe of bribery involving a former top official were continuing and there could be further indictments.
"There are several other dishes of food, but they are still being cooked," said Chen Hung-ta, a spokesman for the special investigation division of the Supreme Prosecutors' Office.
His update followed mounting criticism from Taiwanese media and opposition lawmakers that former cabinet secretary general Lin Yi-shih might not be the only official who demanded bribes. They said Lin was just a legislator at the time of the crime two years ago and did not have enough influence to affect the decisions of others.
Lin, 42, a confidant of Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou who was appointed cabinet secretary general early this year, was indicted on corruption charges on Thursday. He is accused of demanding NT$63 million (HK$16.6 million) in bribes from Chen Chi-hsiang, the owner of Kaohsiung-based Dih Yeon Industrial, in exchange for helping the businessman secure a slag treatment contract in 2010, when he was still a legislator.
The scandal came to light after Lin became cabinet secretary general, when the businessman reported him to the authorities for demanding a further NT$83 million in bribes between February and March. After Chen refused to roll over, he said he found he could no longer obtain slag for treatment.
Lin insisted he had merely received a political contribution.
Lin's mother was also indicted, for allegedly helping Lin receive bribes, as were his wife and two maternal uncles for alleged money laundering.
Suspicions that other senior officials could be involved led to widespread criticism of the indictment.
"It was not a surprise Lin was indicted, but what was described in the indictment was different from what most people had expected," said Su Tseng-chang, of the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
The Taipei District Court decided late on Thursday night to allow Lin to post bail of NT$50 million. He was released late yesterday after coming up with the money.