Two retired military officers were sentenced yesterday by the Kaohsiung District Court for helping China develop an espionage network in Taiwan.
Chien Ching-kuo (錢經國), 37, who retired from the navy in 2009, and Lu Chun-chun (盧俊均), 36, who served at the Missile Command Center until 2005, were charged with violating the National Security Act (國家安全法) and each sentenced to 10 months in prison.
Lu’s sentence was suspended for three years on the basis that he has no previous criminal record.
The court said that the pair can appeal the ruling with the Kaohsiung Branch of the Taiwan High Court.
After retiring in 2005, Lu began a business career in China, where he made friends with government officials in Xiamen before being recruited by Chinese intelligence, according to the court.
In May 2009, Lu invited Chien on an all-expenses-paid trip to Bali, Indonesia, where Chien met with Chinese intelligence personnel, it said.
Chinese intelligence asked Chien about the situation in Taiwan’s military and paid US$1,000 and 2,000 Chinese yuan (US$328) in return, the court said.
Following their return home, Lu and Chien invited Chang Chih-hsin (張祉鑫), then-chief officer of political warfare at the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Office, and his wife on a trip to Cebu in the Philippines.
During the trip they asked Chang to recruit active-duty officers to gather intelligence for China.
The ruling said Lu and Chien received a total of 30,000 yuan from China for recruiting Chang and other officers.
The court said Chang, who accepted a payment of US$2,000 during the Cebu trip, retired in 2012.
He is facing espionage charges in a case before the Taiwan High Court’s Kaohsiung Branch.
Before recruiting Chang, Chien and Lu had attempted to recruit three other officers by inviting them on free overseas trips offered by China, it said.
In March last year, Chien was sentenced to three years in jail for providing China with classified information on Taiwan’s plan to send naval fleets to protect Taiwanese deep-sea fishing vessels from piracy off the Somalian coast in 2011.
Additional reporting by CNA