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KMT petitions for court injunction to thaw frozen assets

In a press conference, KMT Vice Chairman Steve Chan (詹啟賢) said that the party had filed for an injunction from the Taipei High Administrative Court after the Cabinet committee ordered Bank Sinopac to ban account withdrawals and grant only deposits.

The KMT said that the assets freeze was preventing it from paying party employees.

IGPASC spokeswoman Shih Chin-fang (施錦芳) cast doubt on the KMT’s claim, saying the party still had NT$85 million (approx. US$2.71 million) in assets generated from political contributions.

“If the KMT cannot be honest with its employees, how can the public trust that it will honestly handle the matter?” she stated.

The KMT vice chairman said he was willing to personally meet with IGPASC convener Wellington Ku (顧立雄) to ensure that the party assets issue was handled “reasonably and legally.”

Chan said the party was facing difficulties on a “long road ahead” and that party chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) had appointed him leader of a special task force to handle the party’s response to the assets issue.

Hung and party officials have said previously that The Act Governing Handling of Improperly Acquired Assets of Political Parties and Their Affiliate Organizations (政黨及其附隨組織不當取得財產處理條例), which became law in July, was an unconstitutional and politically motivated act of “retribution” by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

The KMT had said it would not rule out taking stronger protest actions.

Under the terms of the act, all assets claimed by the KMT since 1945 — with the exception of party membership fees and political donations — must be relinquished to the government.

The DPP has long accused the KMT of illegally appropriating assets after taking control of Taiwan after World War II.

On Aug. 11, the KMT withdrew NT$520 million (approx. US$16.54 million) from Bank Sinopac and used its Bank of Taiwan account to issue 10 checks worth NT$52 million each, cashing one of them on Aug. 30 allegedly to pay employee salaries.

IGPASC contends that the funds contain assets obtained illegally by the party and ordered Bank of Taiwan to hold on to the remaining nine checks.

The KMT said it had also sent requests to Bank Sinopac and Bank of Taiwan to unfreeze its accounts based on Article 9 of the ill-gotten party assets act, citing its legal obligation to pay employee salaries and pensions.

Shih said it was the KMT’s right to seek legal recourse, but that the KMT’s expenditures were in violation of the act.