Tue, Aug 20, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Dapu protesters file blackmail suit

CHARGES:The attorney of the families who lived in the recently demolished houses in Dapu Borough accused the Miaoli County commissioner of being corrupt

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

Thomas Chan, a Taiwan Rural Front member and an attorney representing four families forced to evacuate their homes in Miaoli County’s Dapu Borough, speaks to reporters after filing a lawsuit against Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-hung at the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Protesters against the forced demolition of four houses in Dapu Borough (大埔) in Miaoli County’s Jhunan Township (竹南) yesterday filed a lawsuit against Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻) accusing him of corruption and other charges.

Thomas Chan (詹順貴), a Taiwan Rural Front member and an attorney who represents the four families, filed the suit with the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID) yesterday afternoon, accusing Liu of blackmail, illegal profiteering and owning property with uncertain history.

Chan alleged that Liu demanded NT$1 billion (US$33.3 million) in compensation from the state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) after it proposed renewing a power station and certain high-tension towers in Tongsiao Township (通霄) in the county, and because Taipower did not agree, Liu asked his officials to prevent the construction.

Showing the minutes of a county government meeting as evidence, Chan said Liu had used his office to blackmail Taipower.

The attorney said Liu’s government demolished houses around the proposed Taiwan High Speed Rail’s Miaoli Station, but houses belonging to his family remained, while his family used the opportunity to procure land around their houses, illegally profiting by NT$200 million.

He accused Liu of corruption by illegally profiteering for himself and his relatives.

The attorney said that in 2006, Liu said he was NT$50 million in debt, but in 2007, he said those debts had been paid, but he never made clear where the money came from.

He said the protesters did not trust the Miaoli District Prosecutors’ Office to handle the case, so they had asked the SID to look into it, he added.

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