KMT loses bid to block transfer of 228 files

A Taipei court on Thursday dismissed an administrative lawsuit filed by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to block the transfer of 33 documents related to the 228 incident to the national archives.

After two years of deliberations, the Taipei High Administrative Court concluded that the Transitional Justice Commission’s request to transfer the documents was legally valid and that the KMT had not provided sufficient grounds to issue an injunction.

The court also rejected a request by the KMT to obtain NT$31 million ($1.07 million) in compensation from the commission in exchange for the documents, which the party made on the grounds that the request constituted “deprivation of rights”. property rights”.

The decision can be appealed.

The commission was established in 2018 by the Transitional Justice Promotion Act (促進轉型正義條例) to increase access to political records, remove authoritarian symbols, and redress judicial injustices from the 1945-1992 period under the regime. authoritarian from Taiwan.

One of its main areas of investigation is Incident 228, a 1947 uprising against the then-KMT regime and the resulting crackdown that claimed thousands of lives and led to nearly four decades of martial law.

Under the law, political parties or organizations that have documents relating to this period are required to report them to the commission, which can order that the relevant documents be transferred to the administration of the national archives.

As required by law, the KMT reported 43,095 archival documents to the commission in 2018, with the commission on May 3, 2019 making an initial request for 33 of the documents.

The documents date from the years 1946 to 1952 and concern the government’s response to the 228 incident, the imposition of martial law and the “period of mobilization for the suppression of the communist rebellion”, as well as various political leaders and dissidents of that time, the commission said.

The court said in its decision that the KMT had transferred 31 of the documents to the archives during the trial, which means that the decision only requires it to hand over the last two documents.

The commission, whose initial two-year term was twice extended with the prime minister’s approval, is due to disband on May 30, after publishing a final report on its work.

The Cabinet in February approved a plan to transfer some of the commission’s functions and tasks to other government agencies, while creating a smaller “transitional justice council” to review and coordinate how these activities are carried out.

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