The Taiwan High Court yesterday sentenced Taiwan Daily News military affairs reporter Hung Tsi-cheng (洪哲政) to 18 months in jail for breaching national security.
\nThe sentence was, however, suspended for three years.
\n"Hung's violation is supposed to earn a sentence of between three and 10 years in jail," said the presiding judge, Tsai Yung-chang (蔡永昌).
\n"However, the court took into consideration his lack of any prior criminal record and that he was merely doing his job as a reporter when he broke the law. As a result, we decided to sentence him to 18 months with a three-year probation," Tsai said.
\nIf Hung is not convicted on any other charge during the three year probation period, the 18 month sentence will be dropped.
\nAfter the trial, Hung said that he was very disappointed at the result and would definitely appeal.
\nAccording to the Code of Criminal Procedure (刑事訴訟法), Hung has 10 days to appeal so after he receives the verdict.
\n"Honestly, I was planning to protest for press freedom by going to jail," said Hung. "However, the court decided that I am guilty but did not give me a chance to be jailed. To me, this is a great humiliation."
\nHung never admitted to the offence he was charged with after he was indicted for violating the Statute for Punishment of Betrayal of Military Secrets (妨害軍機治罪條例) by Taiwan High Court Prosecutor Lee Chin-ding (李金定) in September last year. During the last hearing on July 11 this year, he still insisted that he did not breach national security in his news stories.
\nHung's trouble, and subsequent conviction, arose from two stories he wrote for the now defunct Power Evening News about the 16th Han Kuang military exercise in 2000.
\nThe two articles, published on May 19 and July 29, were about the sighting of three Chinese military survey vessels off Taiwan's eastern coast two days before the May 20 presidential inauguration. They were considered by the military to have compromised national security.
\nFormer army major Liu Chih-chung (
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit