Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Lin Yi-shih's family gets a walk

Sand dunes along the seashore south of Yuanli.

Former Executive Yuan Sec-General Lin Yi-shih got an interesting sentence yesterday. The Lin case had been closely watched. Before you read the Taipei Times account below, go back and read my long post on some of the political fallout and prosecutorial issues. Lin got 7+ years, basically two years for one count and five for the other.
Taipei District Court spokesman Huang Chun-min (黃俊明) said the court ruled Lin had not violated the Anti-Corruption Act (貪汙治罪條例) because as a lawmaker at the time, he was not in a position to decide with whom subsidiaries of state-owned China Steel Corp (CSC,中鋼) should sign contracts.

Under the act, the crime of accepting bribes carries a minimum prison sentence of 10 years.

Lin’s wife, Peng Ai-chia (彭愛佳), his mother, Shen Juo-lan (沈若蘭), and two of his mother’s brothers — Shen Huan-yao (沈煥瑤) and Shen Huan-chang (沈煥璋) — were found not guilty of money laundering. Since the court had ruled that Lin had not violated the Anti-Corruption Act, they could not be convicted of concealing bribe money on Lin’s behalf, Huang said.

The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division said prosecutors would decide whether to appeal. It said the ruling went against public opinion on corrupt officials.
Now what was the evidence? If you read the long post, you'd have seen that there existed two tapes which allegedly showed Lin asking for bribes. Additionally, as I noted in another post:
The KMT news organ has the call:

The corruption case involving former Cabinet Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih (林益世) continues unabated. The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) subpoenaed Lin's wife Peng Ai-chia (彭愛佳) on July 5 for the third time. After the SIU opened the sealed containers that had been seized and verified the huge sums of cash, Peng was suspected of being guilty on 3 counts, namely concealing illicit gains from a corruption case, in violation of the Anti-Corruption Statute, hiding others' illicit gains from major criminal acts, in violation of the Money-laundering Prevention Act, and covering up criminal evidence, in violation of the Criminal Code, which are the same charges brought against Lin's mother, Shen Jo-lan (沈若蘭). Peng was thus listed as a defendant in the corruption case, but was also released last night on NT$1 million bail following the inquiry session.

Currently the SIU had seized bribe money exceeding NT$ 68 million, including US$ 1 million and nearly NT$ 10 million in banknotes from Peng's safety deposit box(es) at an undisclosed bank, the NT$18 million in banknotes that Lin's mother handed over to the SIU, and about NT$ 10 million that Peng helped the SIU to locate after she was subpoenaed by the SIU yesterday. However, the equivalent of NT$ 68 million exceeded the NT$ 63 million that Lin admitted to having accepted as bribes in the corruption case. Lin's mother could not explain whether the $18 million in NT dollars came from the US dollars Lin admitted to having accepted from Chen. Moreover, Lin's mother reportedly burned a large quantity of US banknotes. Therefore, the SIU suspected that Lin might have accepted bribes in other corruption cases.
...Lin's wife and mother had large sums of cash which they could not account for, and Lin was alleged to have admitted accepting bribes (behind paywall).* But despite tapes, confessions, and large sums of cash, he wasn't found guilty of being bribed, meaning that he missed the mandatory ten-year sentence, and meaning also that his family got off scot-free. The sentences are, by all accounts, light. On appeal he might even be able to get them reduced.

Somewhere in Denmark violations of olfactory acceptability are occurring.....

Ben has a longer analysis here. As Ben notes, there is some resemblance to the Chen Shui-bian case here, meaning that the Court may have been striving for what it thought was fair by comparison. Outcome fairness is an important value in local society....

*And recall that, in one of those amazing non-political coincidences, prosecutors opened a case against the DPP in Chiayi even as the Lin Yi-shih case hit the press.
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Anonymous said...

From TT:

Instead, the court found Lin guilty of seeking to profit through intimidation through his capacity as a public official, and guilty of owning assets from dubious sources.

Thanks Taiwan Justice System for showing the world you are a JOKE.

les said...

Lack of comment to me indicates total lack of surprise in this outcome. KMT membership card trumps get-out-of-jail-free card.