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Intelligence

Defense ministry censured over former general's spying case

ROC Central News Agency

2011/11/18 22:59:19

By Sophia Yeh and Jamie Wang

Taipei, Nov. 18 (CNA) The Control Yuan on Friday censured the Ministry of National Defense (MND) and the Army Command Headquarters for poor supervision of a former general who was given a life sentence for spying for China.

The government body, which monitors the behavior of officials and public agencies, passed the resolution proposed by Control Yuan members Cheng Jen-hung, Chao Chang-pin and Yu Teng-fang and released the investigation reports compiled by the threesome.

The members accused the two agencies of failing to notice any illegal activities during the seven-year period when former Army major general Lo Hsien-che spied for China.

The Military High Court in July sentenced Lo to life imprisonment after convicting him of espionage.

The Control Yuan investigation stated that Lo fell into a sex trap set by Chinese agents and started leaking military secrets in 2004 during his posting in Thailand. He delivered classified data to Chinese agents on five occasions in exchange for bribes.

After returning to Taiwan in 2005, he became director of the communications and electronic information department at Army Command Headquarters.

He was further promoted to the rank of major general on Jan. 1, 2008, but came under investigation last October on suspicion of involvement in espionage. He was arrested in late January this year.

Lo was given top scores in his annual evaluations and had always passed security clearances since returning to Taiwan, and the Control Yuan blamed the agencies for failing to conduct proper and thorough evaluations and security checks.

The MND also lacked tight control over confidential documents, giving Lo an opportunity to gain access to information that he could leak, the watchdog said.

In addition, the watchdog's report found out that there were flaws in Lo's promotion as the department chief.

It said further investigations are being carried out into Lo's former superiors who had recommended his promotion to look for any irregularities or determine if any of them had withheld information in Lo's case.

Sources said the Control Yuan had also passed a resolution to impeach Lo, but additional details were not immediately available.



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