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Data leaked in China spy case not highly classified: minister

ROC Central News Agency

2012/10/30 17:02:15

Taipei, Oct. 30 (CNA) The military information allegedly sold by a retired naval officer to China was not highly classified information and was related to the Navy's missions to escort fishing boats, Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu said Tuesday.

The Chinese-language Apple Daily reported Monday that Chang Chih-hsin, formerly the chief officer in charge of political warfare at the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) Office, sold top military secrets, including submarine nautical charts, to China.

Kao said at a legislative session that the media report was incorrect and that the case is under investigation.

When asked by Legislator Yao Wen-chih of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) about the leak's threat to national security, Kao said the leak did not involve national defense secrets but was related to fishing boat escort plans that were not highly classified.

His response appeared to contradict a ministry statement issued on Monday, which said the information passed to China was not classified.

Also on Tuesday, ministry spokesman Luo Shou-he said Chang and two other retired military officers have been detained and are being held incommunicado for their involvement in the alleged spy case.

Chang was arrested on suspicion of obtaining classified information through former military colleagues and using it for illegal gains.

Military prosecutors are still investigating whether there were more people involved, Luo said.

The case was reported to the ministry's security authorities in March, according to Luo, who said the informant or informants will be given cash rewards of up to NT$3 million (US$102,560).

(By Wen Kuei-hsiang, Chen Pei-huang and Kendra Lin)

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