School for the blind wins back building after long lawsuit

AFTER four years of litigation, the Shanghai School for Blind Children finally took back its building on Hongqiao Road from a Taiwan businessman who occupied the property for profit making. The four-story building will be renovated into a rehabilitation center and blind children can receive better education and training, the school said. The Taiwan man surnamed Chou and his mistress refused to move out of the building after the Changning District People's Court issued a verdict in April, and the court had to order for their detention. Chou used to be a farmer in Taiwan and obtained a compensation payment valued at more than 1 million yuan (US$154,321) 20 years ago after his land was acquired by the Taiwan government. Chou then moved to Shanghai to seek business opportunities with his money, which was enormous on the mainland at that time. In 2002, Chou found a four-story school building was empty and signed a five-year lease contract with a service center under the Shanghai Education Commission to rent the property at a cost of 300,000 yuan a year. He decorated the top floor of the building as a home to live with his mistress and their son and rented the other three floors to small companies as their offices. When the contract expired, the school asked to take back the building but was refused by Chou, who had made fat profits by subletting it. Because the city's property prices skyrocketed in past eight years, Chou could earn more than 10 million yuan a year while the rent he paid to the school remained at 300,000 yuan. Since negotiation failed, the service center sued Chou to the court in October 2008. Though Chou lost the lawsuit, he refused to move out, so did companies renting offices in the building. "I have no other place to live. The court has no right to force me out," Chou shouted in the court and appealed to the government that he was persecuted in the mainland. When the court posted a notice on the wall of the building urging him to move out, Chou tore the notice down immediately. As a result! , the co urt decided to detain Chou and his mistress for 15 days. Their detention frightened other tenants in the building and they all moved out. Chou regretted during his detention and agreed to move after receiving a letter from his teenage son who begged him to follow the court order. He also needs to pay a daily fee of 2 yuan per square meter for using the building from 2007 to the date of his leave.


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