Businessman to serve 9 months in prison for espionage

06/22/2020 05:35 PM
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Pixabay image for illustrative purposes only
Pixabay image for illustrative purposes only

Taipei, June 22 (CNA) A Taiwanese businessman surnamed Tu (凃), who had implemented a plan more than 10 years ago to obtain and pass on Taiwan military documents to China, will serve a prison sentence of nine months, as the Supreme Court on Monday rejected his final appeal.

The case dates back to 2009, when Tu was approached during a business trip to China and asked by a Chinese government official and another man to introduce them to Taiwan military personnel who could supply confidential information, according to the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office.

Tu's first recruit was a retired master sergeant surnamed Wang (王), who was working as a security guard at a residential building at the time, the office said.

Wang then enlisted the help of two active duty sergeants, surnamed Hou (侯) and Chen (陳), who obtained several military documents over the years in exchange for money supplied by the Chinese via Tu, according to the prosecutors' office.

Over a three-year period, Hou was paid NT$5,000 (US$167) to NT$30,000 for each document provided, including guidelines on Taiwan's military preparedness, the office said.

On Chen's part, he was paid NT$20,000 for a communication training guide used by Taiwan's Air Force, the office said.

Those documents and others supplied by Hou and Chen were passed on to the Chinese by Tu and Wang, according to the office.

Prosecutors learned of the espionage setup in 2016 and pressed charges against Tu, Wang, Hou and Chen, under the National Security Act.

Tu was initially sentenced to 10 months in prison, but the High Court reduced his sentence to nine months on grounds that the documents he had supplied to the Chinese were not classified.

Tu then filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, which rejected it Monday, leaving him with no other options but to serve the nine-month sentence.

The sentences of Wang, Hou and Chen were not made public.

(By Liu Shih-i and Chiang Yi-ching)

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