Taiwan-born US Navy Lieutenant Commander Edward Lin (林介良), who is accused of spying for Taipei, never committed espionage and was entrapped by the FBI, according to his defense lawyer.
New information on the case emerged last week when navy prosecutors released recordings from closed-door legal proceedings conducted last month.
They said Lin, 39, last year became the target of a sting operation after counter-espionage agents became suspicious of his actions.
They set up Lin to meet with a Mandarin-speaking FBI informant, who was posing as a Taiwanese official.
A military prosecutor, US Navy Commander Johnathan Stephens, said that Lin met with the informant between Aug. 25 and Sept. 9 last year and shared classified information.
Lin was arrested on Sept. 11 last year at Honolulu International Airport and interrogated for 11 hours over two days.
According to prosecutors, Lin confessed to being a spy during the interrogation.
Lin was employed in a secret US Navy division dealing with reconnaissance aircraft used to gather information about China.
Attorney Larry Younger, representing Lin, said that his client did not have legal counsel during questioning and was not read his statement of rights.
As a result, Lin’s alleged confession could not be used in evidence against him, Younger said.
Younger also said that so-called classified documents found in Lin’s home were readily available online and thus not secret.
Younger said Lin spoke with the FBI informant, but that he simply repeated “talking points” used by the US Navy when dealing with Taiwanese officials.
Younger said there was no intent or attempt to aid a foreign government.
“There are signs that the case against Lin could fall apart,” the Daily Beast Web site reported last week.
Commander of US Fleet Forces Admiral Philip Davidson is now in charge of the case and is expected to decide soon whether Lin should face a court martial, be tried before a civilian court, or if the charges should be dropped.
Lin has been charged with two counts of espionage, three counts of attempted espionage and five counts of communicating defense information. He is also accused of committing adultery with a prostitute — an offense for a military officer.
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