Article published on the 2008-08-06 Latest update 2008-08-06 13:53 TU
The inquiry sought to establish whether French politicians, military officials and other middlemen had illegally profited from the sale of French-made ships to
The Taiwanese navy paid 2.8 billion dollars for the six frigates, but it was alleged that substantial parts of this money disappeared into the pockets of various officials.
French financial judges Renaud van Ruymbeke and Xavière Simeoni claimed at the end of their initial investigation in 2005 that they had repeatedly been denied access to confidential government defence files which were at the heart of the case.
The prosecutor said when dismissing the case today that their investigations had not "brought to light the existence of retro-commissions" supposedly paid in the sale.
Taiwan's highest anti-corruption body claims that up to 260 million euros from the sale could have been paid in bribes, and Taiwan is seeking damages of close to one billion euros from France before an international court of arbitration.
The allegations arose following the discovery of a corpse floating in the sea off the coast of
Further suspicions arose when investigators found about 340 million euros in the account of businessman Andrew Wang, who had allegedly been hired to convince
Wang has been charged in
The frigate sale is also at the heart of the Clearstream affair, an ongoing political scandal involving some of
Sarkozy was fully exonerated, but the question remains of who falsified the accounts to include his name.