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MND says it has no information about alleged espionage case

ROC Central News Agency

2016/04/12 19:41:09

Taipei, April 12 (CNA) The United States has not contacted Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) about a reported case of a Taiwan-born U.S. Navy officer who has been accused of spying for both Taiwan and China, an MND spokesman said Tuesday.

"The ministry knows nothing about anything concerning the case," MND spokesman Maj. Gen. Luo Shou-he (羅紹和) said in response to media questions about the reported espionage charges brought against Lt. Cmdr. Edward Chieh-Liang Lin in the U.S.

Luo said the U.S. has not asked for the MND's help with the investigation, which, according to U.S. media, is being carried out by the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the FBI.

Lin, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was assigned to a Naval reconnaissance unit, was arrested eight months ago and is being held in a Navy brig in Virginia on charges of espionage, attempted espionage and prostitution, according to U.S. media reports.

The case did not become public until last Friday, when a pre-trial hearing was held in the U.S. to determine whether Lin will face a court martial.

The charge sheets did not state the period of his alleged espionage or the foreign power to which he was allegedly providing secret information, according to an ABC News report.

However, the report cited a U.S. official as saying that Lin had been providing secret information to both China and Taiwan.

The squadron in which Lin served as a Naval Flight Officer deploys the EP-3 Orion variant that is used specifically for electronic signals intercepts, the report said.

Asked about other U.S. media reports that the investigation found Lin had been interacting with Taiwanese colonel surnamed Kao, Luo said he did not know of any "Colonel Kao" who had ever been posted in the U.S.

There was a "Lt. Colonel Kao," but he is now retired, Luo said, adding that the MND has never asked any active or retired U.S. military personnel to collect intelligence on the U.S. military.

Contrary to (local/international) news reports, Luo said, there is no evidence Lin ever visited the MND.

Lin's personal story was highlighted by the Navy in 2008, after his naturalization ceremony in Honolulu.

At the time, he said he and his family went to the U.S. when he was 14 and had struggled with the language barrier.

"I always dreamt about coming to America, the 'promised land,'" he said at the ceremony. "I grew up believing that all the roads in America lead to Disneyland."

Commenting on his motives for going through the naturalization process, he said "I do know that by becoming a citizen of the United States of America, you did it to better your life and the life of your family."

Lin joined the U.S. military in 1999. He was enrolled as a student in the Navy's Officer Candidate School in 2002 and commissioned that same year, according to USNI News.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Elaine Hou)

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