Thursday, February 07, 2013

Retired air force Lt. Col. gets 12 life terms in China spy case

China continues to seek access to classified military information through recruiting retired officers who remain in close contact with active forces 

The High Court on Tuesday gave retired air force Lieutenant Colonel Yuan Hsiao-feng (袁曉風) 12 life sentences for passing classified military information to China over a period of six years, adding to a list of spy cases to hit the nation in recent years. A court official said yesterday that Yuan passed unspecified military secrets to China between 2001 and 2007 through Chen Wen-jen (陳文仁), a former colleague in the air force.

Lt.-Col. (Ret.) Yuan Hsiao-feng
Using flash drives, Yuan and Chen are alleged to have provided classified information to China on 12 separate occasions. Yuan, who was deployed at an air force ground control unit, was found guilty on 12 counts of leaking secrets, each of which carries a mandatory life term, the court official said. Yuan, who retired in 2007, was reportedly paid a total of NT$7.8 million (US$269,000) by China for his efforts, though the High Court would not confirm the figure. Chen received a lighter sentence of 20 years imprisonment, as he had already retired from the military at the time the crimes were committed. 

My article, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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