The Supreme Court yesterday found retired navy commander Chang Chih-hsin (張祉鑫) guilty of spying for China and recruiting fellow officers to pass on military intelligence, and sentenced him to 15 years in prison.
The verdict was final and cannot be appealed.
According to the court’s ruling, Chang, whose last post was as director of the Political Warfare Section at the navy’s Meteorological and Oceanographic Office, secretly joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 2011.
Chang was arrested at his home in Greater Kaohsiung by military authorities in September 2012 as he was preparing for a trip to China.
Investigators found classified materials, such as nautical charts, oceanographic maps and data in his possession.
Investigators said their probe discovered that Chang had been encouraged by navy Lieutenant Chien Ching-kuo (錢經國) to meet a Chinese intelligence officer, Liu Weiyang (劉偉陽), during a trip abroad in 2006. At the time, Chang was in charge of political warfare for the naval command headquarters on Kinmen.
The court ruling said Chang and his wife accepted an all-expense paid trip to Cebu, Philippines, in May 2010, and while the couple were in Cebu, talks were arranged with other Chinese intelligence agents, where Chang accepted US$2,000 and agreed to gather and pass on military intelligence, and to recruit fellow navy officers into a spy ring.
The ruling said Chang took other navy officers on an all-
expense paid trip to Malaysia in December 2010, where Chang received US$1,900 from the Chinese.
In August 2011, Chang made another trip to the Philippines, where he talked with Chinese intelligence officers, signed documents to join the CCP and paid his party membership dues to Liu.
The ruling said that Chang became more active in organizing his spy ring after the second trip to the Philippines, trying to recruit active and retired military officers and passing on personal information about the men to his handlers.
After Chang was arrested, legislators and military experts said the charges against him were very serious because he had access to submarine and naval fleet nautical charts, bathymetric maps and other confidential information.
In the first ruling last year, Chang was found guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He appealed the verdict and the Kaohsiung High Court in February reduced his sentence to six years.
Meanwhile, Chien’s case is still in the courts.
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