Wed, Jun 07, 2017 - Page 1 News List

KMT officials leave hearing in protest

CONTESTED:Committee Chairman Wellington Koo asked why a contract presented by the KMT as evidence of a 1964 land sale had not been given during previous court cases

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Yeh Sung-jen speaks at a hearing convened by the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee in Taipei yesterday about the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) acquisition of a plot of land owned by his father.

Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) representatives yesterday abruptly left a hearing on the party’s acquisition of land in Taipei’s Muzha District (木柵) decades ago to protest what they said was abuse of government power against the party.

The Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee called the hearing to review the KMT’s purchase of a plot of land that is now part of the site housing the KMT’s National Development and Research Institute.

Yeh Chung-chuan (葉中川) acquired the land in 1939, but it was taken over by the Imperial Japanese Army not long afterwards and then claimed by the KMT government after the end of World War II.

The KMT purchased the land from Yeh in 1964, but below the price that he had set for it.

The Yeh family sued the party in 2007, accusing it of illegally seizing the property.

In the final verdict, a court in 2011 ruled in favor of the KMT, saying there was no evidence that Yeh had been forced to sell the property.

The Yeh family yesterday reiterated that Yeh was forced to sell the property and that they had refused to take any money from the KMT.

In 1962, Yeh was taken by four armed men led by a KMT official who invited him to “have a cup of tea” to discuss the sale of the land, and he later signed a contract with the KMT to sell the land for NT$191,100 (US$6,350 at the current exchange rate), although he had previously offered to sell the land for NT$200 per ping for a total of NT$364,004, according to the testimony of Yeh’s wife, which was given in court in 2007 and brought up again in yesterday’s hearing.

The KMT, instead of paying NT$191,100, deposited NT$19,000 with the courts, as Yeh refused to accept any payment.

The KMT provided two transaction documents to back its claim that it had legally bought the land, showing that Yeh had sold a nearby plot for NT$10 per ping five months before he sold the disputed property to the KMT.

Another property in the area was sold for NT$30 per ping five years later, suggesting that the KMT actually bought the property at a price well above its market value, KMT Administration Committee deputy director Lee Fu-hsuan (李福軒) said.

The KMT also presented a copy of a contract signed between Yeh and the party, which specified that a down payment of NT$50,000 would be made to Yeh when he signed the contract, which Lee said was evidence that the KMT had paid Yeh.

Lee accused the assets committee of “abuse of government resources” by reopening a case that had already been determined by a court.

He left the hearing with KMT Administration Committee director Chiu Da-chan (邱大展) immediately after he made his comments.

Chiu said their leaving was a protest against the assets committee, and the hearing was an insult to the judiciary and “stamping on the nine judges,” who had ruled on the case.

They said they would sue three Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokespeople for their false accusations against the KMT over the case.

Meanwhile, assets committee Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) challenged the validity of the contract presented by the KMT, saying it was unreasonable that such an important document had never been presented in past court proceedings and he said the signature and stamp on the contract do not resemble Yeh’s.

Yeh Sung-jen (葉頌仁), Yeh Chung-chuan’s son, said he had never seen the contract before.

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