The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday accused the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of overseeing a “witch hunt” against its opponents, after the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee requested materials from the party for an investigation into the controversial sale of the Zhongxing Shanzhuang (中興山莊) plot.
In 2005, developer Yuanlih Group bought parcels of the land, which houses the KMT’s Institute of Revolutionary Practice, from the party for NT$3.83 billion (US$127.63 million at the current exchange rate), with the aim of building a residential high-rise.
KMT Administration and Management Committee director Chiu Da-chan (邱大展) said that after receiving the committee’s request to review its files, the KMT opened its doors, as it has nothing to hide.
Photo: Chen Yu-fu, Taipei Times
However, he called the request “foul play” and described it as nothing more than a “political maneuver.”
The Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee demanded to review files related to the party’s annual income and expenditure, as well as meeting minutes from the 1950s and 1960s, as part of the probe into whether the KMT illegally acquired the plot in Taipei’s Wenshan District (文山).
The legality of the sale was questioned after Yeh Sung-jen (葉頌仁), whose father owned four parcels of the land, sought a ruling from the committee after he failed to convince a court that KMT officials forced his father to sell them the land in 1962.
The committee asked the Taipei City Government not to issue the developer a construction permit due to the controversy, but in July last year it did so anyway as part of urban renewal efforts.
Chiu said that despite the Supreme Court in 2011 ruling that there was no coercion involved when the KMT purchased the land from Yeh’s father, the committee has continued with the probe, holding two hearings in 2017 and another last month.
Besides trying to smear the KMT, the committee is seeking evidence so that it can retaliate against Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), who approved the construction permit, he said.
It is “regrettable” to see the lengths to which the committee is willing to go to take down its enemies, he added.
“If that is not a witch hunt, then I do not know what is,” Chiu said.
Committee spokesman Sun Pin (孫斌) urged the KMT not to politicize the probe, saying that the committee made the request after the party sent the committee a letter welcoming it to view the files.
Additional reporting by Lee Hsin-fang and CNA
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