Sat, Feb 10, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Court blocks league’s request

EXPEDITED:While the Taipei High Administrative Court did have concerns about the constitutionality of the act about ill-gotten gains, it felt a timely ruling was needed

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

National Women’s League chairwoman Joanna Lei speaks at a news conference in Taipei on Feb. 1.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

The Taipei High Administrative Court yesterday rejected the National Women’s League’s request to halt the execution of the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee’s naming of the league as a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) affiliate.

The league filed for the request after the committee on Feb. 1 determined it to be affiliated with the KMT, questioning the constitutionality of 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), and argued that the committee’s ruling could cause irreparable damage to the league.

The committee also froze all of the league’s assets, including NT$38.5 billion (US$1.31 billion) in cash, in response to the league’s member representatives’ vote on Jan. 31 against signing an administrative contract with the government to voluntarily dissolve itself.

In its ruling yesterday, the administrative court said that in most cases, when a court encounters laws or regulations that could be unconstitutional, it has to rule to suspend the court case until a constitutional interpretation has been issued.

“However, suspending the case might run counter to one of the court’s functions to offer emergency handling of a situation. As such, the court cannot halt the committee’s decision on the grounds that there are concerns about the constitutionality of the Act Governing the Handling of Ill-gotten Properties by Political Parties and Their Affiliate Organizations,” the administrative court said.

The court said that because being named as a KMT affiliate does not mean all of its assets will be automatically determined illegitimately acquired assets, the committee’s Feb. 1 decision would not necessarily cause all of the league’s assets to be prohibited from disposal.

There are exceptional circumstances that allow a KMT affiliate to apply for disposal of parts of its assets, the court said, citing Article 9, Item 1 of the act.

The committee’s decision would not cause the league’s affairs to shut down, or push it to the brink of dissolution, it added.

When reached for comment yesterday, league chairwoman Joanna Lei (雷倩) said she would appeal the ruling, as the league would not even be able to pay out scholarships to students from economically disadvantaged families.

League employees have been questioned twice by the assets committee and face tremendous legal risks, Lei said, adding that the asset freeze has brought the league’s operations to a complete halt.

Additional reporting by CNA

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