Retired military officer detained for passing intel to China (update)

10/21/2020 06:34 PM
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Ex-MIB Colonel Chang Chao-jan (in beige jacket). CNA photo Oct. 21, 2020
Ex-MIB Colonel Chang Chao-jan (in beige jacket). CNA photo Oct. 21, 2020

Taipei, Oct. 21 (CNA) The Taipei District Court on Wednesday afternoon granted a prosecutors' motion to detain a retired colonel from the Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) as part of an ongoing investigation into espionage allegations targeting at least three former MIB officials.

The court agreed to the detention of ex-MIB Colonel Chang Chao-jan (張超然) over his involvement in introducing retired MIB agents to Chinese national security authorities and allegedly passing confidential intelligence to China.

The actions, which if proven violate the National Intelligence Services Act, carry a minimum seven-year prison term.

Taipei District Prosecutors Office made the motion earlier Wednesday, arguing in court that detaining Chang was necessary because of the seriousness of the crimes and the possibility the suspect could collude to destroy evidence or flee the country.

Meanwhile, two other former MIB officials -- Major General Yueh Chih-chung (岳志忠) and Colonel Chou Tien-tzu (周天慈) -- were released on NT$150,000 (US$5,235) bail each early Wednesday after being questioned by prosecutors over their alleged involvement in the same case.

Chang, Yueh and Chou were summoned by Taipei prosecutors for questioning on Tuesday night, hours after their residences were raided by investigators as part of a ongoing probe into the case.

Five others individuals were summoned as witnesses the same day.

In response to reporters' inquiries before he entered the prosecutors office late Tuesday, Chang insisted he is innocent of all charges while claiming he was one of the first batch of intelligence workers Taiwan's government sent to China.

According to prosecutors, Chang and Chou allegedly invited a retired MIB colonel surnamed Fu (傅) to China in 2013.

Chang accompanied Fu during the trip and introduced Fu to Chinese national security personnel, the prosecutors said.

Chang and Chou are further accused of inviting another two retired MIB officials to China from 2016-2018, namely, Yueh and a colonel surnamed Wang (王), where they met with Chinese intelligence workers and passed intelligence to the Chinese side, the prosecutors said.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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