Retired military officials indicted for alleged spying for China

02/20/2021 06:31 PM
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Yueh Chih-chung (right) and Chang Chao-jan. CNA file photo
Yueh Chih-chung (right) and Chang Chao-jan. CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 20 (CNA) Four former officials of the Military Intelligence Bureau were indicted on Saturday for alleged violation of the National Security Act and the National Intelligence Service Law by passing confidential intelligence to China after their retirement.

The four people facing charges are former Maj. Gen. Yueh Chih-chung (岳志忠) and three retired colonels -- Chang Chao-jan (張超然), Chou Tien-tzu (周天慈) and Wang Ta-wang (王大旺), according to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office.

The charges against them include leaking information regarding intelligence sources, organizations and personnel under the National Intelligence Service Law and developing organizations for China under the umbrella of the National Security Act.

Among the four accused, Chang has been detained since Oct. 21 after he, Yueh and Chou were questioned by prosecutors the previous day. Yueh and Chou were released on bail after questioning.

According to the prosecutors, Chang, Yueh and Chou were recruited by Chinese intelligence, which offered business incentives, cash rewards and free trips.

Chang was recruited when he traveled to China to help a former colleague arrested by the Chinese authorities in 1999, and had since been instructed to arrange trips for other retired military intelligence officers to China, who would be either asked or "forced" to provide sensitive information, according to the indictment.

Yueh, who had been in charge of China-related intelligence work when working at the bureau, was recruited by Chang in 2012 because he wanted to visit relatives in China, but was afraid of being arrested by the Chinese authorities because of his former work, according to the indictment.

Chang assured Yueh that he could return to Taiwan safely, as long as he offered intelligence information to a Chinese intelligence officer, which Yueh agreed to do.

Chou is said to have begun working for the Chinese authorities after becoming involved in a real estate dispute in China's Hainan Province that year.

Wang was also recruited through Chang, according to prosecutors, and gave information about his colleagues during a trip to China, the prosecutors stated.

The indictment also listed their failed recruitment attempts, one in 2013 by Chang and Chou and another in 2017 by Chang, Chou and Yueh.

If found guilty, the defendants will face a minimum prison term of three years under the National Intelligence Service Law.

(By Hsiao Po-wen and Kay Liu)

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