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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Navy official summoned in inquiry into military exercise blunder

ROC Central News Agency

2012/08/13 17:19:27

Taipei, Aug. 13 (CNA) Military prosecutors launched an investigation Monday into a naval exercise that went awry last month by summoning the rear admiral at the center of the affair for questioning.

The prosecutors questioned Rear Adm. Chang Feng-chiang, the former commander of the 168th Fleet, in Taoyuan early in the day and said he left the prosecutors' office close to noon, without giving any details on Chang's testimony.

During an exercise in waters off eastern Taiwan in late July, Chang sailed his fleet off course and headed toward the Japanese island of Yonaguni, about 100 kilometers east of Taiwan, reportedly raising an alarm in Japan.

He was later removed from his post for "serious discipline violations," while other officials were given demerits for failing to discover the mistake in time.

Chang has previously argued that he sent a cable to his superiors detailing his plan to sail out of the exercise's designated area but received no reply, which he took as tacit approval of his intentions.

Meanwhile, the Navy was to call a meeting of the Military Personnel Rights Committee later in the day to review the disciplinary action taken against Chang. A decision is expected sometime this week.

The review was prompted by the Defense Ministry's decision last week to revoke the Navy's decision to punish certain officials responsible for the blunder, including Chang, and ordered the Navy to once again review the actions of the individuals involved.

(By Chiu Chun-chin, Chen Pei-huang and Scully Hsiao)
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