Thu, Sep 05, 2019 - Page 3 News List

KMT to sue party assets committee for defamation

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee Chairman Lin Feng-jeng answers questions during an interview in Taipei on Aug. 22.

Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would file suit against the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee for defamation and breaches of election laws after committee Chairman Lin Feng-jeng said that efforts to recover the party’s allegedly illegal assets could return to square one if the KMT regains a legislative majority next year.

Lin’s remarks demonstrate that he is not maintaining political neutrality in his role as a government official, attorney Yeh Ching-yuan (葉慶元) told a news conference at KMT headquarters.

As the KMT has pledged to donate its ill-gotten assets to charity, the remarks were a deliberate attempt to defame the party and to influence the upcoming general elections, he said.

“We will formally file suit in the next several days,” Yeh said.

In an interview with the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) published on Monday last week, Lin said that the KMT could abolish 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 the committee if the party regains a majority in the Legislative Yuan.

“If the KMT obtains more than half of the legislative seats, no one would be able to stop it from abolishing the act,” Lin said.

If the party also wins the presidential election, it could have the Executive Yuan revoke all the administrative penalties previously meted out by the committee, he added.

A KMT national congress in September 2016 passed a motion to donate all ill-gotten assets to charity, except for a number of offices, as well as funds needed to cover personnel expenses and pay back debts, KMT Administration and Management Committee director Chiu Da-chan (邱大展) said.

Lin was well aware of the decision and had been provided with related documents, he said.

The decision was as authoritative as any made in a shareholders’ meeting for a company and would be followed through by the party regardless of the results of next year’s elections and its chairperson, he added.

“It would be impossible for the decision [to donate to charity] to be overruled,” Chiu said.

Members of the public can make their own judgement about Lin’s remarks, the committee said, urging the KMT not to distort his words.

The party should meet public expectations for transitional justice by taking the initiative to resolve problems related to its assets, it said.

Tackling the problems head-on and returning all ill-gotten assets to the state is the only way to ensure the public interest, it added.

Additional reporting by Chen Yu-fu

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