TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Lee Chia-fen (李佳芬), the wife of itinerant Kaohsiung mayor and presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), is facing legal trouble as the Yunlin County Government yesterday declared that a mansion she owns was built illegally on farmland.
On Thursday (July 11), Gukeng Township (古坑) inspectors carried out a survey of the property and found that there were no crops and no agricultural field representing a violation Agricultural Development Act (農業發展條例), reported Liberty Times. The property is designated as agricultural land, and under the law, 90 percent of it must be used for cultivating crops, while only 10 percent can be allocated for housing.
Yunlin County Agricultural Department Director-General Chang Hung-yu (張鴻猷) was cited by Liberty Times as saying that inspectors had found no crops or fields on the property. Chang said that it has been confirmed that there is no land being used for agricultural purposes on the property and the owners have been given a deadline to rectify the situation.
As to what percentage of the land is taken up the structures, Chang said Gukeng Township officials are continuing to investigate the situation. According to the Department of Land Administration, the 1,662.53-square-meter (502.9 ping) property, which is owned by Lee, includes a mansion that covers 384.8 square meters and a balcony that takes up 41.31 square meters.
Google Maps image of mansion.
In response to allegations that his wife's "luxury farmhouse" is illegal, Han said, "We don't have any special privileges and can stand up to any test." When asked by the media about the nature of the additions his wife had made to the house, Han said it was just a "basketball hoop," not a basketball court, and claimed it had already been dismantled, reported UDN.
Lee said that the house was originally built in 1999 and she purchased the structure as is from the original owner in 2002. However, the original developer of the property told the media that the current compound is much larger than the original structure.
Lee said that she later added a "playground" for the children, which media reports have described as including a "gymnasium" (運動館), balcony, rear addition, corridor, and car garage. She said that due to doubts about the legality of the "playground" she has already had it demolished.
Han's wife then issued a statement expressing her willingness to cooperate with the county's survey, and would carry out demolition if there are any doubts about the legality of the structure. She said that if the main building is found to be within the bounds of the law, the Yunlin County Government should confirm this as soon as possible and make it public.