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Aid frozen to Dominican Republic to get answers in murder case

Aid frozen to Dominican Republic to get answers in murder case

Taipei, Oct. 21 (CNA) A committee in Taiwan's Legislature adopted a resolution on Wednesday to freeze some of the country's financial aid to the Dominican Republic to get Dominican authorities to make more of an effort to solve the murder of a Taiwanese diplomat in Santo Domingo more than three years ago. Legislator Lin Yu-fang (???) submitted the resolution to freeze NT$20 million (about US$600,000) of the budgeted aid while his Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee was screening next year's budget for Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He said the move was intended to get the Caribbean country's attention because the murder of Julia Ou (???), an overseas compatriot affairs official at Taiwan's embassy in Santo Domingo who was found stabbed to death in her apartment in April 2012, remains unsolved. Lin said Chen Shih-kuei (???), head of the Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission, told legislators at an earlier hearing that the Dominican authorities were not actively trying to solve the case, prompting the resolution. By freezing some of the financing for Taiwan-Dominican cooperation projects, Lin said, the Legislature hoped the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could pass on the lawmakers' discontent in the hope Dominican authorities would put more of a priority on the investigation. The lawmaker originally proposed to freeze a total of NT$50 million (around US$1.5 million), but the sum of NT$20 million was settled on after negotiations between foreign ministry officials and legislators. The foreign ministry has numerous ongoing cooperation projects in Latin America and the Caribbean, ranging from infrastructure construction, rural development, and support for social welfare organizations, to disaster relief and reconstruction. Taiwan has budgeted about NT$3.5 billion (about US$106 million) for these projects in the coming year, according to the ministry. Under the resolution, the Legislature will release the frozen NT$20 million in funding when the Ministry of Foreign Affairs receives a positive response from its Dominican counterpart and makes a special report to the legislators. (By P.C. Tang and Lillian Lin)


Updated : 2021-09-27 11:52 GMT+08:00