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National Women's League to sue government over frozen assets

2018/02/03 17:03:15

Joanna Lei (雷倩)

Taipei, Feb. 3 (CNA) The embattled National Women's League (NWL) said Saturday it will file a lawsuit against the government next week over a decision to freeze the league's assets and impose other penalties due to its alleged affiliation with the opposition Kuomintang (KMT).

In an interview with CNA, NWL Chairwoman Joanna Lei (雷倩) said her job now is to safeguard the legal rights of NWL members, who will be under investigation soon, and make sure the league continues to operate normally despite having its assets frozen.

On Feb. 1, the government's Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee determined that the league was an affiliated organization of the KMT, which is under investigation over alleged ill-gotten assets.

The settlement committee froze all of the league's assets, including NT$38.5 billion (US$1.31 billion) in cash, after the league reneged on a memorandum of understanding with the government to donate 90 percent of its assets to the treasury and submit to public oversight.

The terms of the MOU, which Lei signed last December with the Ministry of Interior and the settlement committee, were overturned Jan. 31 by the leagues' delegates in 31-28 vote.

The NWL said the next day that it would to go to court to challenge the government's efforts to seize its assets, and Lei confirmed Saturday that the league will bring a lawsuit against the settlement committee next week.

She said most of the NWL's NT$30.2 billion in assets are being held at Land Bank of Taiwan as the league has been moving its money into a single bank since last August when it was thinking about signing the MOU with the government and donating its money.

Since then, however, the government has been keeping close tabs on the NWL's account at Land Bank, and has been asking for reasons for every withdrawal and deposit, she said.

While the league remains under investigation and is poised to file a lawsuit against the government, it is also preparing to elect a new standing committee.

Lei, who will not run for a seat on the committee, said the election will take place after the Lantern Festival, which will be observed March 2 this year.

(By Hsieh Chia-chen and Kuan-lin Liu)