Sat, Apr 01, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers pass amendments targeting espionage

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

The legislature yesterday passed an amendment to the Republic of China Veterans Assistance Act (國軍退除役官兵輔導條例) that extends the penalties for those convicted of spying, breaching national security and leaking classified information.

The act had stipulated that those who are “sentenced for rebellion, treason, corruption or homicide shall be permanently deprived of all the privileges and benefits,” while the amendment extends the penalty of permanent deprivation to those found guilty of espionage.

The amended act states that permanent deprivation of all privileges and benefits granted by the state to veterans is to be instituted if they are convicted of leaking national secrets in accordance with the National Security Act (國家安全法) and the Classified National Security Information Protection Act (國家機密保護法).

Yesterday’s passage of the amendment followed November last year’s amendments of the Act of Military Service for Officers and Noncommissioned Officers of the Armed Forces (陸海空軍軍官士官服役條例) that stipulated military officers would be deprived of their pensions not only for rebellion and treason, but also for spying, breaching national security and leaking classified information.

The amendments were made in the wake of the several cases in which retired military personnel continued receiving their benefits after being sentenced for espionage.

The amendment is also considered a warning to retired military personnel who have been visiting China and attending official events, as retired military personnel could easily be targeted by Chinese Communist Party spies.

According to the amendment of Article 32 of the act, retired military personnel sentenced for breaching national security, leaking classified information or spying for other nations would permanently lose their subsidies, discounts for medical services and preferential treatment in the areas of employment and education.

The legislature yesterday also passed an amendment to the same act that bars soon-to-be-retired Veteran Affairs Council officials from exerting the influence of their government position to arrange for themselves post-retirement jobs in the businesses related to the council.

It prohibits retired officials from taking managerial positions in council-related businesses within three years of retirement.

Additional reporting by CNA

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