Sat, Jun 02, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Former Property Administration head jailed for six years

CORRUPTION:A court in 2015 jailed national park administration officials over a project on Yangmingshan and this time went after accomplices in the affair

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Former National Property Administration director-general Hung Pao-chuan (洪寶川) and two other officials from his office were convicted of embezzlement by the Shilin District Court in Taipei yesterday, in a case involving illegal acquisition of land and construction of a mansion inside Yangmingshan National Park (陽明山國家公園).

The court handed Hung a six-year prison sentence and deprived him of his civil rights for five years after investigators found that he instructed agency section head Chang Chih-chieh (張智傑) and office clerk Liao Yi-chun (廖益群) to forge records granting approval to start illegal construction of a building called “77 Mansion” (七七行館) in the park.

Chang and Liao were both sentenced to five years and four months in jail and deprived of civil rights for four years.

It was the first ruling and the case can be appealed.

Liu Cheng-chih (劉政池), brother of former Miaoli County commissioner Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻), was in 2015 sentenced to 27 months in jail for breaking the Soil and Water Conservation Act (水土保持法) by building the mansion in 2005.

The project sparked a public outcry when it was found that Liu Cheng-chih had illegally rented and later purchased land inside the national park.

Investigators said they discovered collusion by officials, who had forged records at the agency for financial gain.

They also found collusion by Yangmingshan National Park Administration officials, who approved and expedited the construction permit.

The court said in its ruling that Liu Cheng-chih in 1998 applied to rent 4,572m2 of land, even though it was illegal to rent more than 2,000m2 in the area.

Hung, who headed the National Property Administration’s Northern Taiwan Office at the time, instructed employees to forge figures on records so the application could be approved, investigators said.

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