Thu, Sep 29, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Su to file lawsuit over farmhouse claims by Chiu

JUDICIAL TOOLS:The Tsai campaign says it fears that President Ma might use the judiciary as a sort of campaign tool by tying up DPP candidates with suits

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) is planning a defamation lawsuit against Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅), DPP spokesperson Kang Yu-cheng (康裕成) said yesterday in response to Chiu’s claim that Su illegally constructed a farmhouse in his native Pingtung County.

Chiu said that although vice presidential candidate Su was fined NT$60,000 (US$1,900) for violating the Regulations Governing Agricultural Dwelling Houses (農業用地興建農舍辦法), which stipulate that the percentage of a plot of agricultural land used for houses should not exceed 10 percent, Su still has not corrected the violation.

Chiu said that the lavish farmhouse was built when Su was the commissioner of the county and that Su has been renting the agricultural land using his father’s name despite his father having passed away 14 years ago, an act that constitutes document forgery.

Su has denied the allegations.

“The NT$60,000 fine was handed down in 2007 and the farmhouse has since been rebuilt to meet the regulations, which means Chiu’s allegation was wrong,” Kang said yesterday, adding that Su’s lawyers would file a lawsuit once related information and documents were ready.

Concerned that the KMT would use lawsuits to complicate the DPP’s campaign in the run-up to January’s presidential election, Kang said the party had set up an ad hoc task force to tackle recent legal cases involving DPP members and possible cases in the future.

Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) has been tapped by DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) as head of the task force, Kang said.

Tsai, who is also the party’s presidential candidate, said she is concerned with what she describes as “politicization of the judiciary,” a fear that the KMT might use legal cases as “campaign tools” for the combined presidential and legislative elections.

On Tuesday, three DPP legislative candidates — Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯), Jao Yung-ching (趙永清) and Liao Pen-yen (廖本煙) — were among a group of eight former lawmakers across party lines sentenced by the Taiwan High Court to jail terms ranging from seven years and two months to eight years on charges of bribery stemming from 2003.

In related news, Kang yesterday said the party would pay the fines imposed by the Control Yuan for violating the Political Donation Act (政治獻金法) for accepting money from a company that suffered a financial loss in the previous fiscal year.

The party relies heavily on political donations and it had failed to pick up on the error, Kang said.

The DPP was fined NT$200,000 for accepting NT$1 million from an underperforming investment company run by Tsai Ing-wen’s family, now known as Futai Investment Co.

The money donated by the company to the DPP is to be confiscated by the Control Yuan and the company has been fined NT$1 million.

The investment company had suffered a loss the fiscal year before it made the political donation in March 2009, the Control Yuan said.

Additional reporting by CNA

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