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Retired colonel receives 20-year prison term after spying for China

10/25/2023 09:59 PM
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A board at the Taiwan High Court's Kaohsiung branch shows the retired air force colonel was detained alone with three other suspects on April 21, 2023. CNA file photo
A board at the Taiwan High Court's Kaohsiung branch shows the retired air force colonel was detained alone with three other suspects on April 21, 2023. CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 25 (CNA) The Taiwan High Court's Kaohsiung branch sentenced a retired air force colonel to 20 years in prison on Wednesday for running espionage activities at the instruction of China for at least eight years by recruiting six active-duty military officers.

The retired colonel, surnamed Liu (劉), and the six officers were indicted in January by the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office's Kaohsiung branch, on charges of violating the Classified National Security Information Protection Act for handing over confidential national security information to Beijing.

Liu moved to China to do business after retiring from the military in 2013 and was recruited to infiltrate Taiwan's military using his connections to win over active naval and air force officers, an investigation by prosecutors revealed.

After returning to Taiwan, Liu recruited six active-duty military officers for China. He also received monetary remuneration for providing military intelligence including details on the functions of military airplanes and warships, according to prosecutors.

In addition to handing down a combined sentence of 20 years to Liu, the court also ruled that NT$16.7 million in criminal proceeds he reaped should be confiscated.

Meanwhile, five officers involved in the case received jail terms -- ranging from six months to 20 years and six months -- while one was acquitted, the court said.

The rulings can be appealed.

(By Tsai Meng-yu and Evelyn Kao)

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