The Taiwan High Court’s Kaohsiung branch yesterday sentenced former lieutenant Chien Ching-kuo (錢經國) to three years in prison for leaking confidential information to China.
Chien was found guilty of violations of the Classified National Security Information Protection Act (國家機密保護法).
The court said Chien took classified data concerning the navy’s plans to send ships to protect fishermen off the coast of Somalia to Hong Kong to give to China in November 2011.
Chien first approached commander Chang Chih-hsin (張祉鑫), former Meteorological and Oceanographic Office political warfare division chief, for the navy’s plans, but Chang said he did not know about them. Chien then contacted former Navy Fleet Command Headquarters staff lieutenant Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who shares the same name as the former president, about the classified information, the court said.
The navy had considered sending ships to the Gulf of Aden to protect Taiwanese fishing boats after numerous incidents of boats being harassed or captured by pirates off the coast of Somalia. However, the plan fell through due to both internal and international political concerns, as well as logistical difficulties.
The court said Chien, who came into contact with Chinese intelligence officers via an introduction by a retired military officer and was paid by China to provide military secrets, joined the Chinese Communist Party in August 2011 and recruited members of the military for the party in Taiwan.
Chang, who has been detained on suspicion of leaking geographical information to China, and Lee are still under investigation.
Chien can appeal yesterday’s ruling to the Supreme Court.
In related news, a retired Taiwanese lieutenant general was on Wednesday charged with spying for China.
Chen Chu-fan (陳筑藩), a former vice chief at Military Police Command, allegedly collected intelligence on the military and political situation in Taiwan and handed it to Beijing.
Chen also recruited a retired military intelligence officer to help him gather information for China, the indictment says.
Additional reporting by AFP