The Kaohsiung Branch of the Taiwan High Court yesterday upheld convictions against four men for sharing classified materials with China, for which they received sentences ranging from five months to 20 months.
It was the second ruling in a case involving a retired army sergeant surnamed Wang (王), two former army sergeants surnamed Hou (侯) and Chen (陳), and a businessman surnamed Tu (?).
They were found guilty of breaching the National Security Act (國家安全法) for passing classified military manuals and troop deployment information to Chinese officials from 2009 to 2012, the ruling said.
An investigation found that China had paid the defendants up to NT$30,000 for each military manual or document provided.
Tu, 49, and Wang, 40, were sentenced to 10 months and 20 months in prison respectively.
Hou, 29, and Chen, 27, were handed six-month and five-month terms respectively, while the judges said that Chen’s sentence could be commuted to a fine.
The documents leaked to China included a manual on Taiwan’s armed forces deployment and combat preparation, guidelines for field artillery commanding officers, a training manual for EC225 military helicopters, a manual for operating air force telecommunication systems and guidelines for combat and reconnaissance missions for amphibious assault units, investigators said.
Many people have reportedly perceived the court’s decision to be too lenient.
However, the judges cited a Ministry of National Defense assessment, which deemed the leaked documents not to be high-level classified material, when charging the men with “offenses of public functionaries in leaking of secrets not relating to national security.”
Investigators found that Tu began contacting a Chinese intelligence agency official surnamed Zhang (張) in 2009, and involved his friend Wang.
The official asked Tu and Wang to recruit active-duty military personnel to form a spy network to obtain high-level military documents, investigators said.
They reportedly passed at least 12 sets of documents and reports to China over a period of three years.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up