The Taiwan High Court yesterday sentenced a retired military intelligence officer to three years and six months for violations of the National Intelligence Services Act (國家情報工作法).
The court ruled that Pang Ta-wei (龐大為), a former deputy department head at the Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB), had already been convicted for leaking national secrets in 2007 in a book, which reportedly included information about his unit’s espionage activities in China from the early to mid-1990s.
Pang had been sentenced to 18 months in prison for leaking classified information pertaining to national security.
In 2009, Pang completed his memoir, titled Intelligence Journal, which was allegedly based on notes he had taken while serving at the bureau, as well as other related documents.
After the book, written under a pen name, was put on sale in January 2010 through a publishing house in Hong Kong, Pang was once again accused of leaking national intelligence.
In its ruling yesterday, the court said it had taken Pang’s health — he is undergoing treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia — into consideration in sentencing him.
Pang can still appeal.
In an interview with Japanese media in 2010, Pang had accused the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of disregarding the MIB, alleging that the government’s attitude toward the bureau has raised questions as to the reason for its existence because in recent years the intelligence war with China had gradually been wound down.
In related news, the Taipei Times has learned that Gregg Bergersen, a former weapons analyst at the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), who was arrested in March 2008 for divulging classified military information to China, is out of jail and has been working since last year as an administrative assistant at Aramark Corp headquarters.
As a DSCA analyst, Bergersen handled information pertaining to US arms sales to Taiwan, which prosecutors said he handed over to New Orleans businessman Kuo Tai-shen (郭台生), a native of Taiwan and naturalized US citizen, who then turned over the information to a Chinese agent.
Among the files he handled was the Po Sheng program, a major effort to modernize Taiwan’s command-and-control systems.
In summer 2008, he was sentenced to 57 months in jail, with three years of supervised release after time served.
Bergersen and Kuo, the son-in-law of Xue Yue (薛岳), a KMT general who was a close associate of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), were two of four people convicted in an espionage ring that provided China with information about US defense cooperation with Taiwan. Kuo was initially sentenced to 16 years for conspiring to provide foreign agents with classified defense information, but in June 2010 a judge cut his sentence by 11 years, on the grounds that the information he leaked to China had not significantly compromised national security.
In his efforts to provide classified defense information to Lin Hong, his Chinese government handler, Kuo, also recruited James Fondren, a retired US Air Force lieutenant colonel who had become deputy director of the Pacific Command’s liaison office. In 1998, Fondren created a consultancy in Virginia whose sole client was Kuo. Between late 2004 and early 2008, Fondren provided Kuo with documents he retrieved from classified computers at the Pentagon, including details of naval exercises and an assessment of Chinese military capabilities. Fondren was sentenced to three years in prison in January 2010.