Wed, Jun 07, 2017 - Page 3 News List

CUPP member Lee charged in case of statue destruction

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

China Unification Promotion Party member Lee Cheng-lung speaks to reporters at the party’s office in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Cheng Ching-i, Taipei Times

Prosecutors yesterday charged Lee Cheng-lung (李承龍) and Chiu Chin-wei (邱晉芛) after they allegedly destroyed 100-year-old guardian “lion-dog” statues at an elementary school in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) last month.

The Shilin District Prosecutors’ Office also charged Wang Chi-pin (王啟鑌) and Lu Cheng-yuan (呂承遠), who are Lee’s associates and fellow members of the China Unification Promotion Party (CUPP), with offenses of destruction of public or private property.

The group allegedly used a sledgehammer, wooden rods and other tools to smash the stone statues, which drew widespread criticism as they are considered cultural treasures by Beitou residents.

Residents have long urged the Taipei City Government to list the statues as historical assets.

Lee and Chiu also admitted that they decapitated a bronze statue of Japanese engineer Yoichi Hatta in Tainan’s Yoichi Hatta Memorial Park in April.

A former member of the pro-unification New Party, Lee is affiliated with the CUPP, which sources have identified as receiving funding from China.

Lee has vowed to destroy all cultural items and historical materials from the Japanese colonial era.

Wang and Lu allegedly used wooden rods to cause further damage to the statues, reportedly to protest Lee’s and Chiu’s detention.

The Taipei City Government said the destruction of the statues was not only an act of vandalism, but also an act of hatred intended to impose a particular ideology.

“This must be severely punished without tolerance,” the Taipei Department of Education said in a statement.

“Taiwan is suffering suppression and disruption from the outside and from within. There is no time to work on solidarity,” Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said. “I really hate it when people look for trouble and arouse hatred.”

The judiciary on Monday released Lee and Chiu without bail.

Prosecutors initially set bail at NT$50,000, which was approved by the Shilin District Court.

However, lawyers for the pair appealed to the Taiwan High Court, which instructed the Shilin District Court to reconsider the bail requirement.

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