Fri, Mar 29, 2002 - Page 1 News List

Colonel was aided in leak of classified material, NSB says

By Brian Hsu and Lin Mei-chun  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Runaway National Security Bureau (NSB) official Colonel Liu Kuan-chun (劉冠軍) is not the only person behind the recent leak of classified NSB documents to the press, the NSB said yesterday.

Liu, who has fled abroad, was probably helped by someone, or even a group of people, who may or may not have links to the NSB, DPP lawmaker Chen Chung-hsin (陳忠信) quoted NSB Director Tsai Tsao-ming (蔡朝明) as saying.

"The NSB came to its conclusion on the grounds that Liu did not have enough experience using computer applications," Chen said. "Liu alone would not have been able to produce the computer disk that contained the top-secret documents that he leaked to the press."

Chen made the remarks yesterday to the press after completing an inspection tour of the NSB office on Yangmingshan -- along with dozens of other lawmakers, mainly members of the legisla-ture's Defense Committee.

Another DPP lawmaker, Li Wen-chung (李文忠), who was also on the tour, said that Tsai said the NSB was still trying to find out who might have helped Liu.

"Anyone could have done it," Liu said.

The lawmakers also said the NSB had discovered where Liu was hiding. Liu fled the country in 2000 after it was discovered that he had pocketed money from a secret fund of the NSB.

But the NSB is still refusing to reveal which country Liu is hiding in. Some lawmakers said they hoped the NSB would be willing to say more about Liu's whereabouts next week at the legislature.

A Chinese-language newspaper, quoting anonymous sources, reported yesterday that Liu was hiding in Canada and was being watched by NSB agents. Liu had allegedly chosen to hide in Canada because he has a brother living there.

Lawmakers from the TSU, who have accused the PFP of being behind the leaks to the media, said they had been shown evidence of a link with China.

"Director Tsai confirmed that foreign forces, China in particular, are definitely involved in this incident," TSU lawmaker Lo Chih-ming (羅志明) said after his visit to the NSB yesterday. "First, titles of the files in question are written in simplified characters. Moreover, the terminology used in the disks is believed to be Chinese."

The lawmakers described a scenario of how the classified information could have been copied, leaked and exposed, based on reports from NSB officials.

They said it was Liu who copied the information but that "foreign forces" had helped put it onto a disk. The TSU lawmakers, once again alluding to the alleged involvement of the PFP in the case, said that after the disk was brought back to Taiwan, a "certain party" decoded the disk and sent it to the media.

PFP lawmakers have acknowledged that they had received a copy of the disk -- and used special decoding programs from the Internet to read it.

According to NSB officials, the copy in possession of the PFP is the exactly same as the ones obtained by the media.

Sources confirmed that the documents sent to the China Times and Next magazine were no longer coded, suggesting that PFP operatives were the ones who had decoded the disk and gave the information to the media, the TSU lawmakers said.

"The PFP has to explain how it obtained the disk," they said.

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