12 Mar 2012

Palau President defends use of US funds for Uighurs

6:26 pm on 12 March 2012

The President of Palau says half a million dollars worth of US Government funding to help resettle a group of Uighurs was not used for personal gain.

Johnson Toribiong says a lawsuit claiming he wrongly took charge of 500,000 US dollars to resettle the former detainees from Guantanamo Bay is politically motivated.

Mr Toribiong says the money was spent only for the benefit of the six men of the Chinese Muslim ethnic minority who arrived in the capital Koror in November 2009.

"These people came on short notice and the money was spent to fix the place for them. The safest place we can find, it happens to be on my brother's property. And all the funds were spent for their benefit, for their education, for their housing, for their stipend, for their medical care etc. So there's no problem whatsoever."

Johnson Toribiong says the building which housed the former prisoners has been given to the Uighur with the largest family and the others now have their own homes.