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ROC Central News Agency

Retired military officer gets 4-year jail term in national security case

ROC Central News Agency

03/04/2022 05:06 PM

Taipei, March 4 (CNA) The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the four-year sentence handed down to a retired military officer who was convicted of breaking Taiwan's national security law by attempting to develop a spy network for China.

Retired Lieutenant colonel Tu Yung-hsin (杜永心) was indicted by New Taipei District Prosecutors Office for violating the National Security Act on Dec. 23, 2019.

Tu retired from the military in February 1994, and subsequently went to China where he ran a business, prosecutors said.

During his time there, he met a Chinese intelligence officer who asked him to set up a spy network in Taiwan and gather information for the Chinese security agency in exchange for financial gain, they said.

After returning to Taiwan in 2011, Tu focused on recruiting former colleagues and acquaintances with financial difficulties, by offering them money, expensive wine and tea, and all-expenses-paid trips overseas.

One man he tried to enroll was an army lieutenant-colonel surnamed Tsai (蔡), who was an officer in a combined arms battalion, prosecutors said.

According to the office, Tu asked Tsai to switch allegiance to the People's Republic of China, and said he would need to record a video of himself vowing: "In the future, Taiwan will unify with China. If war breaks out between the two sides, I will not fight, and will cooperate with the Chinese motherland."

During a meeting with Tu, Tsai secretly recorded their conversations and kept the NT$200,000 (US$7,110) and gifts given to him, which he then handed over as evidence to prosecutors for them to investigate Tu.

Tsai was not charged after bringing the case to prosecutors.

In a New Taipei District Court hearing, Tu denied he was working for China, saying he was just bragging to Tsai after a few beers.

The court did not believe his explanation, and on Oct. 14, 2020, sentenced him to four-years in jail for attempting to develop a spy network for China, in accordance with the National Security Act.

Tu filed an appeal, but the Taiwan High Court on Nov. 24 last year upheld his four-year jail term for national security offenses.

He appealed the High Court's decision but the appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court on Thursday. The court's decision is final.

(By Hsiao Po-wen and Ko Lin)


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