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Cabinet secretary-general resigns over graft allegations

Cabinet secretary-general resigns over graft allegations

Taipei, June 29 (CNA) Premier Sean Chen said Friday he has accepted Executive Yuan Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih's resignation over alleged corruption. "Lin offered to resign verbally last night and tendered a resignation letter this morning," Chen said, adding that he respected Lin's decision and has accepted his resignation. The premier told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony marking Tax Day that he held in-depth talks with Lin late last night after Lin filed an aggravated libel suit against a businessman who told a weekly that Lin had taken bribes from him for helping him secure a business contract two years ago. "During our talks, Lin denied he had taken bribes from anyone, but he offered to resign to avoid disturbing Cabinet operations and to focus on dealing with follow-up judicial proceedings," Chen explained. The premier did not respond to a press inquiry about who will succeed Lin as Cabinet secretary-general. Lin was accused by Chen Chi-hsiang -- the owner of Kaohsiung-based Ti Yung Co. -- of having taken bribes from him. According to a Next Magazine report, Lin received a bribe of NT$63 million (US$2.1 million) from Chen to help his company secure a slag treatment contract from China Steel Corp. (CSC) two years ago when Lin was a legislator of the ruling Kuomintang. Lin later demanded a further NT$83 million from Chen between February and March this year, according to the report. When Chen refused to pay up, Lin in April pressured CSC to stop supplying slag to Ti Yung for treatment, according to the magazine. Before going to the Taipei District Court to file the aggravated libel suit, Lin told the media he had "absolutely not taken any bribe" or "pressured anyone after I failed to get bribe." Claiming his innocence, Lin sued Chen and the Next Magazine's editor-in-chief Pei Wei and two others for aggravated libel Thursday. Later that day, Lin visited the Special Investigation Division under the Supreme Prosecutors Office to rebut allegations against him. On Wednesday, Kaoshiung-based CSC, a listed company in which Taiwan's government has a stake, issued a statement denying its business could be obtained only through lobbying or "special connections." (By Lin Hui-chun, S.C. Chang and Sofia Wu)


Updated : 2021-06-24 18:33 GMT+08:00