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Supreme Court upholds life sentence for ex-army general

2012/04/26 23:26:22

Taipei, April 26 (CNA) Taiwan's Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the ruling of a military supreme court and sentenced a former armygeneral to life imprisonment for spying for China.

The court said Lo Hsien-che, a one-star general, started collecting information for China in 2004 and received payment for his espionage activities from Chinese officials.

Lo was sentenced to life imprisonment by a military high court in July 2011 for engaging in espionage, handing military secrets to the enemy and accepting payment for actions that were in violation of his military duties.

Engaging in espionage activities for China carries the death penalty or life imprisonment in Taiwan under the Armed Forces Criminal Act.

Since Lo confessed to his deeds, he was given life imprisonment instead of the death sentence, the court said.

Lo appealed the case to the Supreme Military Court, but the sentence was upheld. He later appealed his case to the Supreme Court, the highest ruling body in Taiwan.

The 51-year-old officer reportedly had access to information on a Taiwan-U.S. military cooperation project known as Po Sheng, which involved communication links between the armed forces of the two countries.

According to unconfirmed reports shortly after his arrest, Lo's acts of betrayal might affect future military intelligence cooperation between Taiwan and the U.S. and even Taiwan's procurement of weapons from the U.S.

Lo is the highest-ranking Taiwanese officer to be caught spying for China in nearly five decades. He is thought to have been recruited by Chinese agents in 2004 in Thailand, where he was posted between 2002-2005.

(By Huang Yi-han and Ann Chen)