Liu Cheng-chih indicted in Yangmingshan encroachment

Liu Cheng-chih, the younger brother of Miaoli County Magistrate Liu Cheng-hung, was indicted by the Shihlin District Prosecutors Office Tuesday on seven counts of encroachment of national land and related violations of the Soil and Water Conservation Act as well as false accusations, perjury, forgery and other charges. Prosecutors charged the younger Liu with constructing a villa on Yangmingshan with a buried complex of linked containers which crossed the property line and encroached on state-owned land in Yangmingshan National Park. Liu allegedly approached Tsai Pai-lu, a former registrar in the Yangmingshan Management Office for "a little help" in obtaining a construction permit for the structures. Tsai told prosecutors he had issued the construction permit because he feared that refusing to do so could mean problems in obtaining a budget for the park.

Also charged in the case were Tsai, Construction Permit Section Manager Li Chao-sheng and engineer Hsieh Wen-hua for complicity in approving illegal construction permits for Liu’s Chi-chi Villa.

Prosecutors noted that Liu Cheng-hung is also believed to have exerted his influence in obtaining the construction permits but will not be charged because his actions were technically not illegal and the statute of limitations in the case has already expired.

The indictment states that in 1998 Liu Chih-cheng leased a property on state-owned land in Beitou District and sought the rights to construct a villa on the site. In 2000 he used the names of his wife and daughter to obtain a construction permit with the ‘help’ of his older brother. Liu allegedly was fully aware that the construction permit he received was not in accordance with the administrative regulations for land in Yangmingshan National Park.

Liu began construction of the villa in 2001 and called in a contractor surnamed Yeh to bury 12 cargo containers on the grounds in front of the villa for later use as well as an adjacent parking lot.

Construction of the villa was complete by 2008, and Liu removed trees and laid brick walkways and a sprinkler system on state-owned land to form a large garden and pavilion. Prosecutors estimate Liu’s encroachments on state-owned land totaled at least 1465 pings (4840 sq.m)..

In addition, Liu Cheng-chih’s three daughters were charged with forgery and other crimes for signing an attendance book as directors of a dummy corporation as well as documents for several real estate transactions.