A commission is to be established to handle the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) ill-gotten assets, according to a law passed by the legislature on Monday.
The ill-gotten party assets handling commission is to be set up by the Executive Yuan in accordance with the Act Governing the Handling of Ill-gotten Properties by Political Parties and Their Affiliate Organizations (政黨及其附隨組織不當取得財產處理條例) that was voted on along party lines in the legislature.
Premier Lin Chuan (林全) is to appoint 11 to 13 members to the commission, with their job to investigate, retroactively confiscate and return or restore to the rightful owners all assets improperly obtained by the KMT and affiliated organizations since Aug. 15, 1945 — when Japan officially announced its surrender to the Allies, bringing World War II to an end.
The law assumes that all KMT assets — except for party membership fees, political donations, government subsidies for KMT candidates running for public office and interest generated from these funds — are ill-gotten and must be transferred to the state or returned to their rightful owners.
The law stipulates that the KMT and affiliated organizations must, within one year of the law’s promulgation, register with the commission all of the targeted assets — including real estate, cash deposits, securities and bonds. Failure to do so would draw a fine of between NT$1 million and NT$5 million (US$31,146 and US$155,734).
The commission can issue fines every 10 days that the party or an affiliated organization does not register ill-gotten assets.
To stop the party from siphoning off assets before the statute goes into effect, the representatives, agents or employees of the KMT and its affiliated organizations are prohibited from selling or transferring any targeted assets from the day of the law’s promulgation.
Breaches of this condition are subject to a prison term of less than five years.
Any government agency, legal entity, group or individual being probed must not evade, refuse or obstruct investigations, with violators facing fines of between NT$100,000 and NT$500,000.
The KMT, which lost both the legislative and presidential elections early this year, argued against the term “ill-gotten” in the title of the statute.
Its proposal to replace the name was voted down.
The main opposition party has also argued that the government body to handle the assets should be the Control Yuan, but the Democratic Progressive Party-dominated legislature backed a provision to form a special investigation commission run by the Executive Yuan.
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