Family of Edward Lin slam the US’ spying allegations

By William Lowther  /  Staff reporter in WASHINGTON

Wed, May 04, 2016 - Page 3

The family of Taiwan-born US Navy Lieutenant Commander Edward Lin has created a Web site to declare his innocence of spying charges.

Lin, 39, is alleged to have passed top secret information about US reconnaissance flights on which he worked to both Taipei and Beijing.

Although Lin has been held in a military prison since he was arrested in September last year, few details about his case have been released.

“Almost nine months after the government placed Eddy behind bars in pretrial confinement, his defense team is still asking the government to release evidence,” the Web site says.

It adds that Lin has been charged with a litany of crimes that “peddles a narrative fit for a spy novel.”

He has been charged with espionage, falsification of an official document, failure to report a foreign contact, using a prostitute and adultery.

Over the past few days an official report on the case was sent to commander of US Fleet Forces Admiral Philip Davidson.

The admiral is expected to decide over the next month if Lin is to face a court-martial, be tried by civilian authorities or set free.

There has been speculation that the US Navy is trying to negotiate a plea deal with Lin’s lawyers because they fear that classified information would have to be made public in court to win a conviction.

“Just because Eddy was born in Taiwan and still has relatives there, [it] should not be taken as evidence that he is willing to betray his country,” the Web site says.

It says Lin answered a call of duty and signed up to serve and protect the US, and that his sense of honor and a desire to be a part of something extraordinary led him to join the US Navy.

“Eddy is innocent of the alleged crimes with which the government has charged him — he is no spy for Taiwan or any other foreign country,” the Web site says.

It accuses unnamed US officials of leaking to the media a “sensationalized tale of espionage, misdirection and sexual perversion.”

Lin was arrested in Hawaii on Sept. 11 last year and US officials told some media outlets that he might have been spying for both Taiwan and China, and that he could have been paid with “sexual favors.”

This might explain the charges of using prostitutes that have been leveled against him.

The family Web site offers no new evidence to refute the charges against Lin, but asks his friends and supporters to send donations to help pay for his legal fees.

It says that Lin’s constitutional rights have not been protected and that by cloaking the case in secrecy the government has been able to classify evidence without offering any explanation on the basis for such a classification.

The Web site accuses US government officials of “conjuring up” different versions of a “titillating tale of The Spy Who Loved Me.”