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July 27, 2017

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MOFA respects prosecutors' decision not to indict ex-envoy

The China Post--The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday said it respects the decision of Taipei prosecutors not to indict Taiwan's former representative to Fiji, Victor Chin (秦日新), over the allegations of corruption.

Chin previously resigned from the top envoy position to Fiji following the scandal and is currently under administrative suspension. Before Chin's suspension, he was transferred back to Taipei to work as a homecoming secretary for the MOFA's headquarters. The ministry said, however, that it will not allow Chin to resume his post as homecoming secretary in the Foreign Ministry until the Control Yuan has closed its own investigation.

"We respect the decision made by the prosecutors, but since the Control Yuan's investigation of Chin is still ongoing, we will not make the decision (as to whether Chin may resume his post) until the government watchdog agency has completed its probe," MOFA spokesman Steven Hsia told The China Post yesterday.

The foreign ministry decided to suspend the duties of the former representative to Fiji last July for suspected misuse of public funds and other irregularities including an alleged extramarital affair with a Japanese diplomat.

The MOFA later referred the case to the government watchdog, the Anti-Corruption Agency and Taipei Prosecutors' Office for further investigation.

The married ex-envoy allegedly had a relationship with Aiko Kurokawa, a former secretary at the Japanese Embassy in the South Pacific island nation.

It was also alleged that Chin used public funds to buy expensive items, including a necklace, as gifts for Kurokawa, even though he claimed that they were bought for wives of several high-ranking Fijian government officials.

But prosecutors closed the case Tuesday saying that they found insufficient evidence to prove that Chin, who served as representative to Fiji from 2010 to July last year, had engaged in inappropriate activities.

In order to perform a detailed investigation, Taipei prosecutor Huang Pei-yu (黃珮瑜) traveled to Fiji with an team to interview people related to the case, but they did not find evidence to prove Chin misappropriated government money.

Prosecutors also said documents from the Foreign Ministry showed Chin did not take allowances and tuition subsidies of US$20,790 as alleged.

Regarding Chin's alleged affair with Kurokawa, prosecutors said they did not interview the Japanese diplomat because they had no legal right to summon her for questioning.

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