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Intelligence officer faces life imprisonment for espionage

ROC Central News Agency

2011/10/18 17:38:37

By Chen Pei-huang and C.J. Lin

Taipei, Oct. 18 (CNA) The Military Supreme Court upheld on Tuesday a life sentence for senior military intelligence officer Lo Chi-cheng, who had been convicted by lower courts on charges of espionage and corruption.

The court also upheld the Military High Court's ruling in April 2011 to strip Colonel Lo of his civil rights for life and have the US$489,895 he gained from spying activities confiscated.

The defendant still has the right to appeal the verdict to the civilian Supreme Court in the next 10 days.

According to the Military Supreme Court, Lo's actions violated article 17 of the Criminal Code of the Armed Forces by "committing an act of espionage for an enemy" and article 5 of the Anti-Corruption Statute by abusing a public official's power and position to "fraudulently obtain money or property."

Under the Criminal Code of the Armed Forces, military officers engaged in espionage activities can be sentenced to life imprisonment or given the death sentence.

The Military Supreme Court found that the senior military officer sold classified national intelligence information to China beginning in January 2007 and had been providing false intelligence on China to Taiwan's Military Intelligence Bureau.

Lo was caught on October 30, 2010 when the Ministry of Justice's Investigation Bureau found him handing a portable hard drive loaded with classified information to Lo Bin, a Taiwanese businessman based in China.

Lo Chi-cheng recruited Lo Bin as an informer in 2003 to help the him gather military intelligence on China, but the businessman was let go by the Military Intelligence Bureau in 2005 because of suspicions his cover had been blown.

Lo Bin was later arrested by China's Ministry of State Security while on a trip to China in 2006.

At the time, the businessman confessed to being an informant for a Taiwanese military intelligence officer and was asked by Chinese officials to turn Lo Chi-cheng into an informant for China.

The Taiwanese intelligence officer agreed to become a double agent, and not only leaked classified military information to the Chinese, but also earned extra money by providing false Chinese intelligence to Taiwan's Military Intelligence Bureau.

Lo Bin was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison in April 2011 by the Taiwan High Court for violating the National Intelligence Act. Since Lo was a civilian, he was not tried in a military court.

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