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Intelligence

TWO MEN INDICTED FOR SPYING FOR BEIJING

2004-03-11 23:02:16

    Taipei, March 11 (CNA) A former civilian worker of the Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) was indicted Thursday by prosecutors for spying for Beijing, along with another civilian MIB worker who was accused of helping him.

    In the indictment, the prosecutors claim that Tseng Chao-wen was a civilian MIB worker who left the MIB in 1988. He was recruited in 1997 by a Beijing intelligence official -- whose identity is unknown and who is identified only by his alias of Li Jing in the case -- to collect general information about Taiwan for Beijing and was paid US$30,000 between 1997 and 2003.

    In 1999, the indictment said, Li asked Tseng to provide him with information about MIB employees, especially secret agents' overseas assignments.

    Tseng used money provided by Li to wine and dine his former MIB colleague Chen Hui-chun, and others, to pry information on the latest assignments of MIB agents, which he then fed to Li in Beijing.

    Tseng was caught red handed in a convenience store while faxing information to Beijing last November, and Chen was arrested later.

    Both of them denied the charges, with Tseng claiming that the so-called intelligence he collected was nothing but newspaper stories and Chen claiming to have had no idea that Tseng was Beijing's spy. He met with Tseng at ordinary social gatherings and discussed no classified information during their chats, he said.

    Their denials were dismissed by prosecutors, who claimed in the indictment that the information transmitted by Tseng to Beijing had been identified by the Ministry of National Defense as classified information.

    The two have been detained since November and if found guilty, face up to seven years in prison.

(By Maubo Chang)

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