Army Major General Hsieh Chia-kang (謝嘉康), who is being investigated over allegations he leaked classified information on Taiwan’s missile defense systems to China, was released late on Tuesday after posting bail, prosecutors said.
They confirmed that they also questioned a second suspect, retired army colonel Hsin Peng-sheng (辛澎生), who allegedly recruited Hsieh, adding that he was released on bail early yesterday.
Both suspects posted bail of NT$100,000 and have been forbidden from leaving the nation, the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office said.
Photo: Chang Chung-yi, Taipei Times
Prosecutors said that Hsieh and Hsin were recruited by Chinese intelligence agents and attempted to develop a spy ring in Taiwan, in contravention of the National Security Act (國家安全法).
Hsieh was the deputy commander of the Matsu Defense Command on and the commander of the Air Defense Missile Command, where he had access to the specifications of all the nation’s missiles, including the US-made MIM-104F Patriot missile and the domestically developed Tien Kung III and Hsiung Feng 2E cruise missiles.
Travel records indicate that Hsieh traveled to Thailand and Malaysia, where he allegedly met with Chinese intelligence operatives and might have received financial rewards for acquiring and passing on military secrets to the Chinese, and agreed to recruit other people for to set up a spy ring in Taiwan, prosecutor Wang Po-tun (王柏敦) said.
The case first came to the attention of the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau last year, when sources told the bureau that Hsin was working in the tourism industry after his retirement and had been recruited by Chinese intelligence officials when he was leading a Taiwanese tour group in China last year.
Hsin, who had met Hsieh when they were serving in the same unit, persuaded Hsieh to obtain classified military materials.
In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of National Defense announced that Hsieh had been relieved of his job as deputy commander of the Matsu Defense Command and has been demoted to an adviser at the Air Force Command Headquarters, pending the outcome of the judicial probe.
“Someone in our military last year alleged that Hsieh had been in contact with a person who had been recruited by Chinese intelligence officers, and told our national security agency to investigate the case at that time,” the ministry said in the statement.
Raids were on Tuesday conducted at the two suspects’ residences, in Kaohsiung and Pingtung County to gather evidence.
The conclusions of the investigators will be passed on to the US, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) said yesterday, responding to questions at a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee.
“The US is gravely concerned about intelligence leaks in the case,” he said, addressing questions on whether the case would affect US arms sales to Taiwan and relations between the two nations.
Additional reporting by CNA
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