The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the ruling of the military supreme court and sentenced a former army major general to life imprisonment for spying for China.
The court said Lo Hsien-che (羅賢哲) started collecting information for China in 2004 and received payment for his espionage activities from Chinese officials.
Lo was sentenced to life imprisonment by a military high court in July last year for engaging in espionage, handing military secrets to the enemy and accepting payment for actions that were in violation of his military duties.
Engaging in espionage activities for China carries the death penalty or life imprisonment under the Criminal Code of the Armed Forces (陸海空軍刑法).
Since Lo confessed to his deeds, he was given life imprisonment instead of the death sentence, the court said.
Lo appealed to the Supreme Military Court, but the sentence was upheld. He later appealed his case to the Supreme Court.
The 51-year-old officer reportedly had access to information on a Taiwan-US military cooperation project known as Po Sheng, which involved communication links between the armed forces of the two countries.
According to unconfirmed reports shortly after his arrest, Lo’s acts of betrayal could affect future military intelligence cooperation between Taiwan and the US, and even Taiwan’s procurement of weapons from the US.
Lo is the highest-ranking Taiwanese officer to be caught spying for China in nearly five decades.
He reportedly fell for a honey trap set by a female Chinese agent while stationed in Thailand, where he was posted between 2002 and 2005, and received about US$1 million from China for his services.
Additional reporting by AFP