6 September 2015

Taiwan MND Says Prison Sentences Given to Ring of Chinese Spies Too Lenient

Joseph Yeh
September 3, 2015

MND says China spying sentences too lenient

TAIPEI, Taiwan – The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday called on prosecutors to appeal the latest ruling after Taipei District Court on late Tuesday handed out relatively lenient sentences to several retired military personnel involved in a high profile Chinese espionage case.

Military spokesman Luo Shao-ho urged prosecutors to do so as lenient sentences levied upon Taiwanese who serve as Chinese spies could hardly serve as a deterrent to those who are willing to betray their country in exchange for money.

“Those ex-military personnel had long been under the nation’s care for decades and yet they have failed to keep a safe distance from the enemies and ultimately sold out the country,” Luo said.

Their illicit behaviors have inflicted major damage to national security and the operations of the Armed Forces and thus they deserve to be given harsher jail terms, he added.

The Taipei District Court on Tuesday sentenced a Chinese national intelligence officer Zhen Xiaojiang (鎮小江), who recruited retired Taiwanese military personnel as part of a cross-strait spy operation, to four years in jail for violations of the National Security Act (國家安全法).

However, five other defendents, all of them R.O.C. citizens and retired military personal who were also found guilty in Tuesday’s ruling, were given more lenient sentences.

Retired one-star general, Hsu Nai-chuan (許乃權), an independent candidate who ran unsuccessfully for Kinmen County magistrate last year during the nationwide elections, was given a three-year jail term.

Retired Air Force Col. Chou Chih-li (周自立); retired Army officer Yang Jung-hua (楊榮華); ex-Air Force pilot Sung Chia-lu (宋嘉祿), and another former pilot Ma Po-le (馬伯樂) were all given four to 18 month sentences — all with two to five years of probation.

The sentences for all except Hsu and Chou can also be commuted to fines.

In response, Luo expressed the military’s dissatisfaction over the ruling, urging prosecutors to appeal the case to the higher court so that they can receive harsher punishments for their criminal activities that could put the nation in danger.

  Luo added that the military will continue to beef up its anti-espionage efforts in light of series of spying activities targeting local Armed Forces personnel.

  The military also called on military personnel in active service and retired not to engage in espionage for the Chinese mainland.

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