Miaoli County chief and brother confronted by prosecutors
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-01-24 05:41 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Miaoli County Magistrate Liu Cheng-hung and his brother Liu Cheng-chih left the Shihlin District Prosecutors Office separately Friday after a confrontation lasting half an hour, reports said.

A first attempt by prosecutors to put the two brothers together to question them about their business practices failed last Tuesday as Liu Cheng-hung asked for leave. Prosecutors said they had not received any request from the politician, who argued his schedule was already full.

The county chief is listed as a defendant in a case regarding violations of the Company Act. Prosecutors wanted to know whether as chairman of a company, he was aware that his brother built an illegal mansion on public land in Taipei’s Yangmingshan hills. The house was officially registered as owned by the company.

Liu Cheng-hung reportedly told investigators that his chairmanship was only pro forma, and that he was not aware of the company’s dealings. It was reportedly him who asked for the confrontation with Liu Cheng-chih.

The brothers reportedly spent the interrogation together between 4 and 4:30 p.m. Friday, reports said. The Chinese-language Apple Daily reported that Liu Cheng-hung wanted his brother to leave together with him, but Liu Cheng-chih declined the invitation. The latter walked out without saying a word, while the county magistrate said “thank you” to waiting reporters.

The case became public knowledge when opposition politicians accused Liu Cheng-chih last September of having constructed illegal buildings in Yangmingshan’s national park area.

In November, prosecutors raided the mansion and found a secret underground space formed by 12 shipping containers. The investigators wanted Liu to be detained, but the court released him and two daughters on bail. They were charged with the illegal seizure and use of state property.

A former director general of the National Property Administration was also listed as a defendant as several officials were suspected of having helped Liu obtain the land and maybe also covered up the expansion of his villa.

Liu Cheng-hung became one of the most vilified politicians in the country over the past year as he ordered the demolition of four homes in the Miaoli County borough of Dapu to make way for a science park.

A recent administrative court decision ruled the demolition illegal, while public pressure grew on the Ministry of the Interior and the Miaoli County Government not to appeal against the verdict. January 29 is reportedly the deadline for filing the appeal.

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