Members of four Dapu Borough (大埔) families who won a landmark land expropriation case yesterday urged the Ministry of the Interior not to appeal the verdict.
The Taiwan High Court on Jan. 3 ruled that the demolition carried out in Dapu in Miaoli County’s Jhunan Township (竹南) last year, whether partial or complete, of the families’ homes to make way for the expansion of a science park project had been unlawful.
The ministry received the written verdict on Thursday last week and said it would decide whether to appeal within the set 20-day period after meeting with Miaoli officials and academics.
Representatives from the families and the Taiwan Rural Front protested in front of the ministry yesterday, calling on it not to file an appeal and to help the families rebuild their houses.
Holding a model of her demolished house, Peng Hsiu-chuan (彭秀春) asked Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) for help in rebuilding her house.
Since the ministry is in charge of reviewing all land expropriation cases, it is responsible for protecting private property, the protesters said.
The Dapu case was only the tip of the iceberg and represented hundreds of similar expropriation cases nationwide, they said.
“The verdict has clearly pointed out that the handling of the case was a mistake, a crime and a brutal enforcement of the law, as well as a biased systematic error,” National Chengchi University professor Hsu Shih-jung (徐世榮) said.
Ministry Chief Secretary Weng Wen-te (翁文德) accepted the protesters’ appeal letter and pledged that the ministry would listen to everyone’s opinion before making a decision on whether to appeal and that it would review its land expropriation policy.