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Lin Yi-shih asked MOEA for help: minister

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) testified yesterday that ex-Cabinet Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih (林益世), who is currently being held over graft charges, had sent a memo to his ministry asking for a favor.

Shih, along with Hsieh Hsi-ming (謝銘錫), head of the Ministry of Economic Affairs' (MOEA) Department of General Affairs (經濟部總務司), yesterday both testified in the Taipei District Court (台北地院) as witnesses in Lin's case.

Hsieh said that he had received a memo from Lin in 2010 regarding Ti Yung Co.'s (地勇公司) slag treatment deal with the China Steel Corporation (CSC, 中鋼).

Hsieh added that he had forwarded Lin's memo to the State-owned Enterprise Commission (國營會).

Shih said that while attending an interpellation session at the Legislature, Lin had told him that something needed his attention.

The minister explained that he had then asked Hsieh what it was all about, and that Hsieh had told him about the memo.

Shih stressed that no instructions were given regarding the memo's disposal.

The minister explained that lawmakers do ask favors of him either in person or through the ministry's contact, but that the relevant authorities often reply automatically to the legislators themselves, and that there was nothing out of the ordinary about legislators approaching him.

Lin is charged with receiving NT$63 million and for soliciting another NT$83 million in bribes, during his tenure as legislator and Cabinet secretary-general, from Ti Yung Co. owner Chen Chi-hsiang (陳啟祥) over the firm's slag treatment deal with state-owned CSC.

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