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Control Yuan to impeach Su Jia-chuan for illegal farmhouse

The Control Yuan, the government's highest watchdog, yesterday resolved to impeach ex-Council of Agriculture (COA) Minister Su Jia-chuan for knowingly violating the Agricultural Development Act by building a farmhouse as a residential villa instead of as a place for agricultural operation.

Control Yuan members voted 6-4 to pass the impeachment case against Su, of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and handed over the case to the Commission on the Disciplinary Sanctions of Functionaries under the Judicial Yuan for execution.

Three control yuan members, namely Chen Yung-hsiang, Ge Yung-guang, and Ma Xiu-ru, jointly announced the resolution at a press conference held yesterday afternoon.

They said that when serving as magistrate of the southern county of Pingtung, the minister of COA and the interior minister, Su made use of the privileges of his positions to build a grand farmhouse on the farmland owned by his wife as a residential villa instead of for agricultural use, violating the Agricultural Development Act.

The members continued that Su's practice had seriously hindered the farmland from being effectively utilized, thus undermining the overall development of farmland.

In addition, the members said that Su also illegally used part of the farmland owned by a local township to build a grave, violating the regulations governing the use of non-urban public land lots.

Su's alleged illegal practices were exposed in the second half of last year by Chiu Yi, then a lawmaker of the ruling Kuomintang, after Su was nominated as DPP's vice presidential candidate in the 2012 presidential race.

Although Su was forced to donate the farmhouse and the related farmland to the Chang Zhi Township Hall of Pingtung County for public agricultural use, the scandal was deemed as one of the reasons behind the DPP's failure in the 2012 presidential election held earlier this year.

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