Yilan County Commissioner Lin Zi-miao (林姿妙) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is among a group of officials facing corruption charges related to an economic renewal project, the Yilan District Prosecutors’ Office said yesterday.
Suspects linked to an investigation of a NT$5 billion (US$181 million at the current exchange rate) economic renewal project would likely face charges of corruption, money laundering, forgery, bid-rigging, possessing personal assets of unknown origin and financial irregularities related to county government projects, prosecutors told a news conference in Yilan.
Persons of interest identified by prosecutors include: Luodong Township (羅東) Mayor Wu Chiu-ling (吳秋齡) and former Yilan County councilor Liu Shih-chun (劉石純), both of the KMT; Yilan County Bureau of Land Administration Director Yang Tsung-ming (楊崇明); county Economic Development officials Chao Hong-hsun (趙竑勳) and Huang Yao-chih (黃耀智); former Yilan County Chamber of Commerce chairman Chen Cheng-hsun (陳正勳); Lin’s daughter, Lin Yi-lin (林羿伶); and former county KMT National Assembly representative Lin Shu-mei (林束梅), who is Lin Zi-miao’s cousin.
Prosecutors on Thursday searched 30 locations with Agency Against Corruption officers and served summonses to question more than 30 people in connection with the corruption probe.
The investigation centers on a 105-hectare project in Luodong Township, where prosecutors said that land originally designated as protected was rezoned for agricultural use in 2018, with a provision allowing for construction of residential buildings and public infrastructure.
Prosecutors said there were disputes and financial improprieties throughout the process.
An investigation also found apparent financial irregularities on another Luodong project to rezone industrial land to construct a residential building in 2020, and officials were suspected of profiting from a public tender project in 2019, prosecutors said.
Lin Yi-lin’s Yi Hsing Mining Co (益興礦業) was also implicated, prosecutors said.
Lin Zi-miao, 69, and Wu, 65, were transferred to the Yilan District Prosecutors’ Office for questioning before being released without posting bail yesterday.
Yilan County Department of Economic Affairs Acting Director Wu Chao-chin (吳朝琴) and the Yilan County Department of Agriculture’s agricultural affairs director Wu Tung-yuan (吳東原) were detained following questioning and a bail hearing yesterday to prevent tampering with evidence and possible collusion of testimony, Yilan County Chief Prosecutor Liang Kuang-tsung (梁光宗) said.
Legal experts and political pundits said that it was the first time an incumbent local head and township mayor have been questioned in connection with a corruption case, especially as they are seeking re-election later this year.
The KMT said that the Democratic Progressive Party orchestrated the probe to maximize its chances of winning seats in the year-end elections.
Summoning a county commissioner for questioning, without concrete evidence or indication of what laws have been contravened, tarnishes the commissioner’s reputation, KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) said.
KMT Culture and Communications Director-General Lin Tao (凌濤) said that the judiciary should remain neutral in reviewing the matter, adding that the KMT would defend Lin Zi-miao’s reputation.
Additional reporting by Shih Hsiao-kuang
PAPERS, PLEASE: A digital certificate or a printout would return one of three results: green for ‘pass,’ red for ‘not passed’ or yellow for ‘to be determined,’ the CECC said Starting today, people can download a Digital COVID-19 Certificate, with the government now requiring people at night clubs, karaoke bars and other businesses in “eight major special establishment categories” to be fully vaccinated and present a vaccination certificate. The eight categories include dance venues, massage parlors, hostess bars and saunas. Customers and service personnel at the venues have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, as they can neither avoid contact with people nor strictly observe distancing guidelines, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said. As such, both groups are required to be fully vaccinated, meaning that they must have had at least a
LAWMAKERS RALLY: Beijing’s unlegislated actions breach international and WTO trade rules, and affect the basic principles of the EU single market, the letter said A group of 41 EU lawmakers on Tuesday condemned China for its political and economic coercion of Lithuania, and called on leaders of the bloc to demonstrate solidarity with Vilnius. The letter was initiated by Slovakian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Miriam Lexmann, who is cochair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China. “We, the undersigned members of the European Parliament, resolutely condemn political and economic coercion of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) against Lithuania,” the letter said. The letter addressed European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and
ORDER OF 66 JETS: Delivering the F-16s faster and enabling Taiwan to develop its fleet into one of the biggest in Asia would be based on ‘risk assessment,’ one official said The US is looking for ways to accelerate delivery of Taiwan’s next generation of newly built F-16 jets, US officials said, bolstering the Taiwanese air force’s ability to respond to what Taipei and Washington see as increasing intimidation by the Chinese military. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that they have not yet come up with a solution on how to speed up delivery of Block 70 F-16s, manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp and equipped with new capabilities. The aircraft are slated to be delivered by the end of 2026. Taipei has privately expressed its wish for a faster delivery
‘GOOD FRIEND’: The Slovenian prime minister said he had visited Taiwan four or five times, and that Taiwanese should have the right to determine their future The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday welcomed Slovenia’s plan to establish a representative office in Taiwan, after Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa revealed the plan in an interview with Indian TV station Doordarshan on Monday. Taiwan is a democratic country that respects international democratic standards and international laws, the Slovenian prime minister said in the interview. Slovenia and Taiwan are working on “exchanging representatives,” he said. “Of course, this will not be on the level of embassies. It will be on the same level as many of the EU member countries.” “When I spoke with our businessmen who are trading with Taiwan, they