Fri, Mar 01, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Transitional justice ‘more lenient’ than in Germany, committee says in rebuke

By Chen Yu-fu and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih, right, presents a gift to Klaus-Peter Willsch, one of the four members of the Bundestag’s Germany-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group, on Wednesday in Taipei.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

Transitional justice efforts in Taiwan are lenient compared with those in Germany, Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee Chairman Lin Feng-jeng (林?正) said yesterday in response to criticism from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

After meeting four members of the Bundestag’s Germany-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group in Taipei on Wednesday, KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said that the committee wrongly claims that its transitional justice model is based on Germany’s.

Wu told the German lawmakers that he was troubled by the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) claim that it is emulating the German model of transitional justice, the KMT said in a news release issued later that day.

“The DPP claims to have learned its harsh party asset laws from Germany, but KMT delegations to Germany reported otherwise,” Wu was quoted as saying in the statement.

“Did President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration actually learn transitional justice from Germany, as it claims, or is it just some factoid that the DPP is spreading?” Wu was quoted as saying.

KMT Vice Chairman Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) was quoted as saying at the meeting that the turnover of governing parties in Taiwan is not comparable to the collapse of the East German government.

“The KMT still exists as an opposition party, instead of disappearing like East Germany’s ruling party, so the administration’s claim that it borrowed from Germany is false,” he was quoted as saying.

The fall of totalitarian East Germany after popular protests was not comparable to party turnover in Taiwan, which occurred in a highly developed multiparty democratic system, the KMT cited German lawmaker Klaus-Peter Willsch as saying.

Lin said that democratic elections did not erase the injustices committed by the KMT.

Germany handled party assets more stringently than Taiwan, Lin said, citing his own research in Germany last year.

The German Socialist Unity Party had to furnish sufficient proof of its innocence to prevent the confiscation of property that it allegedly obtained via unlawful means, but Taiwan places the burden of proof for such cases on the committee, he said.

Taiwan’s transition to democracy does not change what the KMT owes the public for its unlawful expropriation of national and private wealth, which it still enjoys, he added.

“The committee has seized more than NT$80 billion [US$2.6 billion at the current exchange rate] in assets belonging to the KMT and its affiliates, and the party is known to still use illicitly obtained properties as its offices,” he said.

Wu should provide evidence before making allegations, he said, adding that the KMT leader “does not get to decide the truth.”

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