Taiwan Lobbyist Claims PM Leader Knew Of Scandal
Taiwan's lobbyist in Papua New Guinea has maintained that Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare was involved in the so-called cash for recognition scandal. Taiwan's Vice Premier and Foreign Minister have lost their jobs over the scandal, which involved a multi-million dollar secret payment made to two men, who claimed they could get PNG to agree to give Taiwan diplomatic recognition. Radio Australia's Firmin Nanol reports from Port Moresby that Sir Michael Somare has vehemently denied any involvement in the scandal. But Taiwan's PNG lobbyist, Florian Gubon, claims Sir Michael allegedly authorized officials to discuss a secret $US30 million cash-for-recognition deal. Mr. Gubon has admitted Taiwan paid $US100,000 dollars in travel expenses for PNG officials authorized by the Prime Minister to Taiwan. Sir Michael has admitted meeting Taiwan's Foreign Minister in Singapore last year, but has previously told parliament he knew nothing of the scandal. He says PNG continues to recognize a single China, although it will also continue to pursue trade and economic relations with Taiwan.
Source: Radio Australia