Thu, Jun 08, 2017 - Page 3 News List

DPP challenges evidence of KMT’s 1962 land purchase in Taipei’s Muzha area

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday challenged the validity of a contract presented by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to prove the KMT’s acquisition of a plot of land in Taipei’s Muzha (木柵) area was legal, with the DPP describing it as a “ghost document,” unseen in previous court proceedings.

A hearing on Tuesday reviewed the KMT’s purchase of the land, which is now part of the site housing the KMT’s National Development and Research Institute, to determine whether the party had forcibly acquired the property from its former owner, Yeh Chung-chuan (葉中川).

The KMT presented a copy of a contract signed by Yeh and the party on Jan. 4, 1962, which said that a down payment of NT$50,000 would be made to Yeh when he signed it.

The contract, which the KMT said was evidence of a consensual transaction, was challenged by the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee, which said the signature and stamp on the contract did not resemble Yeh’s and the contract had never been presented in previous court proceedings.

The KMT purchased the land from Yeh in 1964, but the Yeh family sued the party in 2007, accusing it of illegally seizing the property and forcing Yeh to sell the land well below the price he asked.

In the final verdict, a court in 2011 ruled in favor of the KMT, saying there was no evidence that Yeh had been coerced.

The DPP said the stamp on the contract was different from the stamp on another contract signed by Yeh and the KMT on Jan. 16, 1962, which showed that Yeh agreed to sell the land to the KMT for NT$191,100.

While the Jan. 4, 1962 contract specified a down payment, there is no mention of it in the Jan. 16 contract, the DPP said.

The discrepancy between the two contracts and the lack of a receipt for the down payment undermine the validity of both contracts, the DPP said.

Yeh’s son, Yeh Sung-jen (葉頌仁), said he had never seen the Jan. 4 contract or the stamp it bears before.

Three of the five witnesses of the Jan. 16 contract could not be found in the government’s household registration database and they were never summoned to testify, DPP Deputy Secretary-General Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) said.

“These are ghost documents, ghost witnesses and a ghost stamp. How can the public be convinced the rulings were fair?” Hsu said.

KMT Administration Committee Deputy Director Lee Fu-hsuan (李福軒) said the Jan. 4 contract was not “new evidence,” but had been presented to the courts in past proceedings.

Judges even questioned Yeh Chung-chuan’s wife about her knowledge of a NT$50,000 payment — the exact amount stated on the contract, Lee said.

“Although Yeh’s wife said she did not know about the payment, that does not mean there was no such payment,” Lee said.

The stamp used on the Jan. 4 contract was legally certified and the Jan. 16 contract was a transfer of ownership document which, in the fashion of earlier decades, did not specify the transaction amount in detail, Lee said.

KMT Administration Committee director Chiu Da-chan (邱大展) said the witnesses listed on the contract were real people and were KMT employees, but the assets committee had gotten their names wrong, as they are somewhat illegible.

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