Sun, Jul 04, 2004 - Page 3 News List

KMT denies new claims on holdings

WHOSE ARE THEY?the KMT says it is willing to give up five parcels of land if it turns out they were acquired illegally, but really, they weren't

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday denied new claims made by the government that five pieces of land owned by the party were illegally acquired.

"According to party documents, the properties referred to by the government were not inappropriately acquired," said Chang Che-shen (張哲琛), director-general of the KMT Administration and Management Committee, at a news conference held to counter claims made by the Ministry of Finance's National Property Bureau (國有財產局).

The bureau on Friday publicized what it said were new findings about the KMT's party assets. In addition to hundreds of properties that had already been listed by the Control Yuan as party assets acquired illegally, the bureau said that it had discovered that there were another five pieces of land found to be under the ownership of the KMT that had been transferred to the party improperly.

According to the bureau, the five pieces of land, located in Taipei City's Chungcheng and Chungshan districts, are worth an estimated NT$630 million.

At the news conference yesterday, Chang displayed land registration certificates to support the party's contention that the properties rightfully belong to the party. According to the KMT, the registration certificates indicate that the properties were acquired through a normal purchase process.

Chang said that one of the pieces referred to by the bureau is now used as dormitory for retired party staff members and that the other four pieces of land have for more than 10 years been used for roads and parking lots.

Chang said the party is willing to find and follow up on records about the properties and related transactions. Saying that the party, according to instructions from KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰), is trying to tackle the issue of party assets with a "high standard of morality," Chang said that "the party will willingly relinquish the properties to the government should information later indicate that the properties were acquired improperly.'"

Chang said that of the 134 properties owned by the party that were acquired through donations, 85 percent had been returned.

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