The mother of a student, who died on May 4, on Friday accused a man of tricking her son into a same-sex marriage to gain legal rights to his inheritance, NT$500 million (US$16.3 million) of land.
The son, surnamed Lai (賴), fell to his death from a 10th-floor residence in Taichung owned by a man surnamed Sia (夏).
The mother told a news conference that Sia, an assistant at a land administration company owned by Lai’s father, on May 4 invited Lai out, promising that he would “teach him how to handle his real estate.”
Photo: Tsai Shu-yuan, Taipei Times
However, Sia took Lai to the Household Registration Office in Beitun District (北屯) to register themselves as a same-sex couple, the mother said.
Lai died less than two hours after the marriage certificate was issued, she said.
Sia’s actions suggested premeditation, as he had asked Lai to transfer the deeds for the land to the company, she said.
The Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office said that it has listed Sia as a suspect in the case, adding that he posted bail of NT$300,000 after detention was deemed unnecessary.
The Civil Code stipulates that same-sex marriages give partners the same legal rights as other marriages, including inheritance rights.
A lawyer for the mother, surnamed Hsu (許), told the news conference that the marriage was “absurd,” as the two had only met twice, with the first time being last month.
Lai’s mother said that her son had recently started university and had been looking for a girlfriend.
The witnesses to the marriage had been two random people, she said.
The prosecutors’ office said that an autopsy had been conducted on May 12 and it was awaiting the report.
A funeral parlor said that despite Lai falling 10 stories, his body was largely intact, with only one broken arm and little sign of blood, Chinese-language media reported.
Lai inherited 30 plots of land from his paternal grandfather, who was also his biological father, the reports said.
The grandfather had slept with Lai’s mother, an immigrant from China who was married to one of his sons, they said, adding that the father, who died last month, had adopted Lai.
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