Fri, Nov 19, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Executive Yuan files suit against BCC over Bali land

STOLEN ASSETS The KMT government expropriated 16 lots in Bali Township in the 1960s, but the Broadcasting Corporation of China is listed as the registered owner

By Joy Su  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Cabinet decided to take legal action again yesterday to reclaim ill-gotten property from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)'s Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC).

Calling its move the "second wave" in the government's efforts to reclaim the KMT's stolen assets, Cabinet spokesman Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said yesterday that the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) would be contesting the management rights of 16 lots of land located in Taipei County's Bali Township.

BALI PLOTS

Chen announced the lawsuit yesterday evening just before lawyers filed the lawsuit at the Shihlin District Court.

The property, purchased for NT$190,002,334 in the late 1960s, totals 26,220m2 and is estimated to be worth NT$7.5 million today.

According to Chen, the Land Law (土地法) stipulates that the government can expropriate private property for public use.

While the government had compensated private owners for the 16 lots, the registered owner of the land is now the BCC.

"The ministry allocated money in its budget to purchase this land in the 1960s and subsequently compensated the owners for it," said Vice Minister of the Interior Tsai Tui (蔡堆).

"However, the land was later registered as the BCC's property, and the reason given was government expropriation. We feel this is problematic," Tsai said.

LEGAL STATUS

"The Land Law stipulates that the government, and not a political party or a company owned by the party, can expropriate land for public use," Lin said.

He said the property rights to expropriated land belonged to the government even if ownership registration processes had not been undertaken.

"Of course it would be best if the KMT returned this land of its own accord -- it is their responsibility," Joseph Lin (林永頌), a lawyer for the Executive Yuan, said yesterday. "But it doesn't look like it's going to happen."

Lin said the lawsuit claims that the BCC is in violation of the Land Law and so should return the 16 lots of land to the government.

Management rights should be returned to the MOTC, he said, but any fees or taxes incurred in the process of returning the land should be paid by the BCC.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications filled a similar lawsuit against the BCC on Nov 1. That lawsuit seeks the revocation of the BCC's ownership of eight lots of land in Banciao.

The Banciao property has an estimated worth of more than NT$1.5 billion.

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