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Legislative committee clears bill to allow life sentence for espionage

ROC Central News Agency

2019/10/03 18:51:35

Taipei, Oct. 3 (CNA) An amendment bill that would increase the maximum penalty for espionage to a life sentence cleared the committee stage in the Legislature on Wednesday.

Under the draft amendment to the National Intelligence Service Law, intelligence agencies would have the right to collect, analyze, and use information that may affect national security or interests, in areas such as national defense, foreign affairs, economics, technology and public security.

The draft bill also states that intelligence officers and other government personnel convicted of leaking state secrets to a foreign power will face a penalty of 10 years to life in prison.

In addition, those found guilty of reaping illegal personal gains from espionage efforts may also be subject to a fine of up to NT$10 million (US$322,691), according to the draft bill.

Currently, the penalty against government employees convicted of espionage is a prison sentence of three to 10 years, if the information is handed over to a foreign power, and one to 12 years for working clandestinely for a foreign power.

Under the draft bill, the statute of limitations on espionage crimes would be lifted.

(By Fan Cheng-hsiang and Evelyn Kao)

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