Fri, Aug 12, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Illegal party assets committee may question Ma, Lee

PARTY ASSETS:The committee will investigate and determine which KMT assets were illegally obtained and relaunch probes into controversial cases, Wellington Koo said

By Yang Chun-hui, Chung Li-hua and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Committee of Illegal Party Asset Settlement Chairman Wellington Koo, right, speaks to radio host Clara Chou during an interview yesterday.

Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times

The Committee of Illegal Party Asset Settlement (CIPAS) will investigate assets owned by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and may call key party members, such as former KMT investment chief Liu Tai-ying (劉泰英), and possibly former presidents Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), for questioning, committee Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said yesterday.

The committee was founded in accordance with the Act Governing the Handling of Illegal Properties by Political Parties and Their Affiliate Organizations (政黨及其附隨組織不當取得財產處理條例), which was promulgated by the Presidential Office on Wednesday.

Koo on Wednesday said that the three main goals of the committee are to investigate the KMT’s current assets, define which ones are illegal and relaunch investigations into controversial cases, such as the sale of China Television Co (中視), the Broadcasting Corp of China (中廣) and the Central Motion Pictures Corp (中央電影) allegedly far below their value.

In a radio interview yesterday, Koo confirmed that Agency Against Corruption Deputy Director-General Hung Pai-ken (洪培根) has been appointed committee vice chairman.

“I talked to Hung [on Wednesday], telling him that prosecutorial units’ help would be sought when probing illegal party assets that call for criminal investigation,” he said.

Koo blasted the KMT for its reported plan to pay its staff five months’ salary in advance, saying that pre-paying salaries is totally unheard of.

He said that once the act took effect, the KMT’s illegal assets should not be further used for illegitimate purposes.

“The employees could be paid with this month’s salary, but not pre-paid ones,” Koo said.

The committee will accept complaints from individuals whose assets might have been illegally obtained by the KMT, he said, adding that the party is obligated to return or compensate individuals or organizations once the committee has determined that the complaint is justified.

Koo said it would be a great challenge to determine the right price and compensation if the property in question had been sold to at third party.

The committee will work closely with prosecutorial authorities to gather evidence and will investigate certain individuals, such as Liu and past directors of the KMT’s Administration and Management Committee, Koo said.

Liu was widely known as the “KMT’s major treasurer,” who was in charge of the party’s investments in the 1990s.

Koo said that if necessary, Ma and Lee would also be interviewed to provide information about the assets.

According to the act, all party assets obtained after Aug. 15, 1945 — with the exception of party membership fees, political donations, political party subsidies from the government, election campaign fund donations and income from natural sources and legal transactions — are all presumed to be illegal.

The presumed illegal assets are frozen once the act is implemented, and any sort of liquidation of said assets by the KMT or its affiliate organizations could be fined by double or triple the amount of the sum of the liquidated asset, according to the act.

The committee led by Koo is to have 11 to 13 members. The determining of illegal party assets that should be returned to the state, local self-governed groups or original owners requires a simple majority of the two-thirds of the attending members.

The committee is also required to set up its own Web site to make public its progress on investigations and report to the Legislative Yuan every six months.

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