Wed, Feb 12, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Ex-journalist suspected of spying released on bail

Staff writer, with CNA

A former CNA reporter suspected of trying to collect sensitive information for China was released on NT$200,000 (US$6,600) bail early yesterday and banned from traveling overseas pending further investigations.

Kuo Mei-lan (郭玫蘭) was brought to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office for questioning late on Monday after investigators conducted a search of her home in Taipei and her parents’ home in Greater Taichung.

Prosecutors suspect the 41-year-old violated the National Security Act (國家安全法), but did not feel it was necessary to ask the court that she be detained.

A businessman surnamed Chou (周) was also questioned in relation to the case, but later released on his own recognizance.

The former reporter is suspected of attempting to “buy intelligence” from a division chief at the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau in 2007 on behalf of China, according to the prosecutors’ office.

Kuo offered a “bountiful reward” to the division head, but was turned down and the incident reported to the authorities, according to the prosecutors.

The authorities began monitoring Kuo’s activities soon after, but it was unclear why it took more than six years to bring the suspect in for questioning.

The information Kuo allegedly tried to obtain was related to political parties’ activities.

If convicted of espionage, Kuo could face a sentence of up to five years and a fine of NT$10 million.

Kuo worked at the Central News Agency (CNA) from 2004 to 2011.

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