Military intelligence officer Emily Yeh (葉玫), who was repatriated from the UK in January where she had been hiding after failing to return to her post after a period of leave, was yesterday sentenced to 10 months in prison by the Taichung District Court. Judges granted her four years of probation.
The district court also ruled that Yeh must complete 200 hours of community service in one year, and donate NT$200,000 (US$$6,700) to public welfare.
Yeh, who has been detained since being repatriated on Jan. 19, was released on a NT$50,000 bond following the ruling yesterday.
The court also lifted the ban on her leaving the country.
The verdict can be appealed to the Taiwan High Court.
Yeh had told the district court that she absconded because her superiors complained that she wore too much makeup, and that they asked her to dine and drink with certain people. Yeh told the judges she feared she might be ordered to sleep with someone if she continued to work at the bureau.
Prosecutors indicted Yeh on desertion charges. The offense carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Yeh was granted vacation from June 17 to June 24, 2012. She was later found to have traveled via Thailand to the UK, without permission from her superiors.
She sought asylum and took up residency in Newport, Wales, until her arrest on Dec. 10 last year for overstaying her visa.