Fri, Aug 01, 2008 - Page 4 News List

MOFA's Ou to meet Control Yuan on PNG probe results

By Jenny W. Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco Ou (歐鴻鍊) is expected to meet Control Yuan President Wang Chien-shien on Monday to explain the results of the ministry's internal investigation of the Papua New Guinea (PNG) scandal.

Wang has vowed to treat the scandal as one of his priorities during his stint as Control Yuan president.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Spokesman Henry Chen (陳銘政) said that contrary to media criticism — especially political talk show pundits — “the ministry has done a lot in getting to the bottom of the scandal.”

“The ministry will meet public expectations by giving the Control Yuan and the judicial system our full cooperation,” Chen said, but refused to disclose any details of the investigation, citing confidentiality for pending cases.

The PNG scandal was exposed in early May when the Central News Agency reported that two brokers, hired by MOFA, had absconded with NT$1 billion (US$30 million) of the ministry’s money that was earmarked to be given to the Pacific island country once it agreed to switch allegiance to Taipei.

Then-foreign minister James Huang (黃志芳) denied any direct involvement in the disappearance of the funds and argued that MOFA was a victim of two con men.

Huang and former National Security Council secretary-general Chiou I-jen (邱義仁), who admitted to introducing one of the brokers to Huang, were forced to resign in disgrace over the mishap.

One of the alleged con men is being held in Taipei while the other is at large, reportedly in the US.

Despite a change of government since the scandal, Chen said MOFA had devoted much effort to the investigation.

In a press release last night, MOFA said it had taken steps to ensure full cooperation with authorities, such as canceling a foreign posting for Chang Chiang-sheng (張強生), the last MOFA official who was with one of the brokers before the money disappeared.

Chang was originally assigned to be the deputy representative to Malaysia.

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