MOI, Miaoli County lose lawsuit over Dapu expropriation
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-01-03 01:47 PM
Reversing an earlier ruling, the Taichung High Administrative Court announced its ruling Friday against the Miaoli County government and Ministry of the Interior (MOI) on a land expropriation plan in Dapu, where several houses had been torn down in mid-July in name of public purpose. The judges also ruled that concerned authorities have to return the land to the property owners expropriated by force.

Three days after the New Year, Taichung High Administrative Court judges made decision that the land expropriation in Dapu launched by the MOI and Miaoli County Government is in violation of law and the land have to be returned to four property owners who appealed to a higher administrative court in a joint action.

The four owners claimed that the land expropriation is unnecessary, saying the purpose behind the plan is to drive up the land value so as to make a huge profit.

Miaoli County magistrate Liu Cheng-hung faced widespread protests last year following his demolition orders for several buildings in Dapu Township to make way for a science park that is being built by the county government.

The demolition was carried out while Dapu residents and civic groups were protesting in Taipei. The home owners returned in the evening to find their houses reduced to rubbles. The protesters said one of the home owners, Chang Sen-wen, was asked by the government to pay NT$242,000 (US$8,000) for the moving expenses after his house was demolished. This is the exact amount that Chang received from the county government in compensation for the expropriation of his six ping (19.8 square meter) house. Chang committed suicide in September and is believed to go to the extreme out of despair over the Dapu demolition.

Perng Ming-hwei, professor emeritus at National Tsing Hua University, said last year at the protest that there are already many science parks in Taiwan and they have a very low utilization rate.

After learning the ruling, Lee Ming-Chih, the lawyer defending for Dapu residents, said it is "a victory for land justice as well as human rights."

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