The British government covered the costs of repatriating Lieutenant Emily Yeh (葉玫), a military intelligence officer who was returned to Taiwan on Sunday after leaving her post 18 months ago, sources familiar with the matter said.
Yeh, 33, was escorted by three British officials on a Malaysia Airlines flight from London that included a transit stop in Kuala Lumpur. After handing Yeh over to law enforcement personnel at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, the three returned to London on Malaysia Airlines.
Both governments have stayed tight-lipped about details of the repatriation.
Sources said the UK made every possible effort to ensure Yeh’s deportation went smoothly, including covering the costs.
Yeh was sent to the Taichung Prosecutors’ Office after her arrival and the Taichung District Court granted the prosecutors’ request late on Sunday to detain her pending further investigation.
Yeh’s lawyer, Kuo Teh-ten (郭德田), said he was surprised by the court’s decision. Saying that Yeh had returned to Taiwan voluntarily, Kuo said law enforcement authorities should give her an opportunity to redeem herself.
Yeh, who was serving with the Military Intelligence Bureau in Greater Taichung before going absent without leave, traveled to the UK in June 2012 without permission from her superiors.
She had been given vacation time from June 17 to June 24 to visit Thailand, but failed to return, the bureau said.
Yeh overstayed illegally in the UK, living in Newport, Wales, until her arrest on Dec. 10 last year.
She could be tried for desertion, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison under the Criminal Code of the Armed Forces (陸海空軍刑法).