Taiwan sentences former KMT government official to 2 years in prison

Taiwan High Court will have to do other corruption trial which ended with 12-year sentence over again

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Former Cabinet Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih.

Former Cabinet Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former Cabinet Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih (林益世) will have to serve two years in prison in a corruption case, while a related 12-year verdict will have to be reconsidered, according to a ruling by the Supreme Court Wednesday.

Lin was once one of the most promising young Kuomintang (KMT) politicians, elected legislator at the age of 31 in 1999 and joining the Cabinet in 2012, during the rule of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

The scandal broke into the open in the same year, when a businessman accused Lin through the media of demanding NT$83 million (US$2.7 million) from him in return for a contract with a state-run company, after he had already paid Lin NT$63 million (US$2 million) earlier when he was still a lawmaker.

The case acquired a high profile due to its implications of political corruption, and Lin was detained for a while.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court confirmed a two-year prison sentence based on the fact that Lin could not explain the origin of a sum of NT$15.8 million (US$514,000), though it rejected a 12-year prison sentence for corruption, which means the Taiwan High Court will have to handle the latter case over again.

Police were immediately notified of the two-year sentence and told to take measures to prevent Lin from fleeing the country, the Central News Agency reported.

The former politician’s wife, former television news anchor Peng Ai-chia (彭愛佳), and two uncles saw their not-guilty verdicts for money laundering confirmed by the Supreme Court, which rejected appeals by prosecutors.

Lin’s mother, Shen Juo-lan (沈若蘭), who at the time was accused of burning U.S. dollars and of hiding money in a pond at the family home, saw the Supreme Court confirm her five-month prison term for hiding evidence of a crime, but was found not guilty of accepting bribes, CNA reported.