Wed, Aug 10, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Beijing spy receives slap on the wrist with short sentence

By Rich Chang  /  Staff Reporter

The Taiwan High Court yesterday sentenced a software engineer who pleaded guilty to gathering classified information about Taiwan’s Patriot missile defense system on Beijing’s behalf to one-and-a-half years in jail.

Lai Kun-chieh (賴坤玠), 35, was a software engineer at Motorola Co’s local branch who was transferred to Beijing, the ruling said. He later went to work for Lenovo Co in Beijing, the ruling said.

Lai was recruited in February last year by the deputy director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the Beijing Municipal Government, Li Xu (李旭), who asked him to get details about Taiwan’s Patriot missiles through his friends in the military, the court said.

Lai returned to Taiwan and contacted a high-school friend who was an army major serving in Missile Command, surnamed Tsao (曹), the ruling said.

Starting in December, Lai and Tsao met several times.

Tsao informed the military after Lai first mentioned that he was spying for China.

To find out who Lai’s handlers were, the military ordered Tsao to give Lai some open-source information on the Patriot missile, the court said, adding that Lai was arrested on May 31 as he gave Tsao US$16,000 and NT$113,000 in a Taipei hotel in exchange for classified information.

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