Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) wife, Lee Chia-fen (李佳芬), yesterday said that the family on Thursday last week sold its house in Yunlin County, after the Kaohsiung City Government on July 11 determined that the house was illegally built on farmland.
Lee told a news conference that she hopes the media and public would not use her husband’s presidential campaign as an excuse for harassing the new owner.
A report in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) yesterday quoted the buyer, surnamed Chen (陳), as saying during the news conference that she was aware of the legal questions surrounding the purchase and that her lawyer told her that any issues could be resolved legally.
Photo: Lin Kuo-hsien, Taipei Times
When Han announced that he would run for mayor, the family contemplated selling the property, as they had not used the house in Gukeng Township (古坑) since last year, Lee said.
Chen wanted to buy the property last year, but the sale was postponed, as Han was busy with his campaign, she said.
Lee criticized “certain individuals” for “causing incessant calamity” by politicizing the family’s ownership of the property and its sale.
The family eventually continued with the sale out of respect for Chen, who convinced them that they should “not be afraid of others smearing them if they are doing the right thing,” she said.
Improvements to the property have already been made, such as removing the perimeter fence and basketball court, and restoring the land to agricultural use, Lee said.
However, to protect the rights of the buyer, she filed an appeal and is waiting for a decision by the Ministry of the Interior, she added.
Chen, who runs a landscaping business, said she welcomed inspections of the property and would make improvements as required.
Asked how she knew Chen, Lee said they were introduced by a friend in northern Taiwan.
Additional reporting by Cheng Hsu-kai
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