|Chiou I-jen attends a court session in Taipei, Feb. 2. (Photo/Chen Chih-yuan)|
The prosecutors said there was not enough evidence to press charges against former National Security Council secretary-general Chiou I-jen and former foreign minister James Huang in the scandal.
They said that Ching Chi-ju, former vice chairman of the Taipei-based BES Engineering and his associate, Wu Shih-tsai, allegedly told Chiou and Huang that they could help broker the establishment of diplomatic relations with Papua New Guinea, if the government remitted US$29.8 million to a joint bank account set up by them.
The ministry, in a bid to promote diplomatic relations with Papua New Guinea, remitted the money to the joint bank account. But it turned out to be a fraud, and the two made off with all the money in the account.
Chiou and Huang allegedly were also involved in dividing up the money.
But prosecutors said their investigation showed that Huang had taken a cautious attitude in reviewing the establishment of diplomatic relations with the island country in southwestern Pacific, and if he had wanted to line his pocket, he didn't have to go the distance in remitting money to Singapore.
In addition, Chiou only introduced Ching to Huang, and he was not involved in the process of establishing diplomatic ties.
Also, prosecutors have not found any evidence that the money in the account in Singapore was channeled into the banking accounts of Chiou and Huang or their family members.