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Committee appeals ruling unfreezing KMT assets

In making the ruling last week, the Taipei High Administrative Court said the Ill-Gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee’s September freeze order lacked sufficient legal foundation and that, as private entities, banks had no authority to freeze assets. It stated that the freeze order could not be carried out until after an administrative proceeding.

The court’s decision was seen

as a reprieve for the embattled opposition, which has struggled to pay its staff and has launched fundraising initiatives to keep the committee’s clampdown on its party assets from pushing it into insolvency.

But the relief was short-lived.

Both the banks involved in the court ruling — the Bank of Taiwan and Bank Sinopac — are still refusing to let the KMT access its funds as per an administrative order from the committee.

The committee’s convener, Wellington Ku, has also warned third parties not to process KMT checks, warning that doing so would incur hefty fines.

It also said that it would publicize the checks’ serial numbers to prevent them being processed.

Bank Sinopac confirmed Monday that it had received one of the administrative orders telling it to permit KMT deposits but not withdrawals.

The Bank of Taiwan said it would continue following the committee’s previously issued instructions as it had not received an official copy of the administrative court’s decision from last week.

The committee had demonstrated disrespect and contempt for the country’s legal system and was acting as the “judge, jury and executioner,” KMT Administration and Management Committee Director Chiu Da-chan said at a press conference at the opposition’s headquarters

Chiu said the party had “no choice but to” litigate against the banks for not upholding the administrative court’s decision “due to the committee’s abuse of power.”

He called for the Financial Supervisory Commission or the Banking Bureau to examine the committee’s “misinterpretation” of the Negotiable Instruments Act and the Banking Act, saying that the court decision clearly stated that the banks were legally obliged to process KMT fund transfers.

On Aug. 11, the KMT withdrew NT$520 million from Bank Sinopac and used its Bank of Taiwan account to issue 10 checks worth NT$52 million each. One was cashed on Aug. 30, allegedly to pay employee salaries.

The committee contends that the funds contain assets obtained illegally by the party and has ordered the Bank of Taiwan to not process the remaining nine checks.