Thu, Dec 06, 2007 - Page 4 News List

KMT says DPP lawmaker tried to misuse land

By Flora Wang and Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday accused Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tu Wen-ching (杜文卿) of endeavoring to profit illegally from a parcel of public land in Miaoli County.

At a press conference, KMT Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) said that Tu exercised his influence to rent a 265.6ping (876m2) plot of land from the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) near Yuanli (苑裡) Train Station in Miaoli at NT$30,000 per month.

Showing the press copies of TRA documents, Chiu said Tu won the bid last April and later pressured the National Property Administration (NPA) and the TRA to change the plot's zoning.

Chiu said Tu urged the agencies to designate the land as "not for public projects" so that Tu could purchase it at a low cost.

However, the TRA ruled in August against Tu's request, Chiu said.

KMT caucus whip Kuo Su-chun (郭素春), who was at the conference, said the case proved the DPP was embezzling public funds.

Tu yesterday rebutted Chiu's allegations.

"I did establish my campaign headquarters at the location Chiu mentioned. But I did it through the correct legal process. I hope that the media will not be misled by Chiu," Tu said. "I welcome prosecutors to launch a probe."

The TRA also rebutted Chiu's allegations.

"The rent is extremely low because we have held seven previous public bids for the land, but nobody wanted it until Tu participated in the last bid," said Chang Ying-hui (張應輝), deputy director of the TRA.

Chang said the TRA had several other parcels of land that are difficult to lease because they are not zoned for commercial use.

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