UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Taiwan still sees Justin Yifu Lin as defector: defense ministry

ROC Central News Agency

2014/01/13 23:25:50

Taipei, Jan. 13 (CNA) Taiwan considers Justin Yifu Lin, former vice president of the World Bank, to be in a continuous state of defection, after he defected to China as an Army officer nearly 35 years ago.

Lin is a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and thus his act of defection has continued, said Chou Chih-jen, director of the Ministry of National Defense's department of legal affairs.

His act of crime will continue to exist until he leaves his post in any government or Communist Party organization, or China's military, Chou said.

According to the 68th interpretation of the Constitution by the Justices of the Constitutional Court, the crime of defection continues indefinitely unless the perpetrator turns himself in or proves that he has left the organization he has defected to.

Chou's remarks came after the Ministry of National Defense on Monday reassigned to civilian judicial authorities 455 court trials and cases that are pending further investigation.

This was part of Taiwan's reform of the military justice system triggered last summer by the death of an Army corporal while in military detention.

The defense ministry has also given the Ministry of Justice a list of fugitive military personnel, including Lin, Chou said. It is up to civilian judicial or law enforcement authorities to decide whether such military officers should remain on the wanted list.

The Kinmen Branch Court of the Fuchien High Court on Monday decided to continue to put Lin on the wanted list, as it took over jurisdiction of the case.

If Lin returns to Taiwan, he will be brought to justice, Chou said. The statute of limitations in this case is 37.5 years, which starts from the day when he no longer holds a post at any of China's government, Communist Party or military organizations, he added.

Lin, born Lin Cheng-yi in 1952 in Yilan, swam about 2,000 meters to the Chinese city of Xiamen in May 1979, when he was serving as commanding officer of a frontline company in Kinmen.

The outlying island county, as well as the Matsu islands to the north, is under the administration of Fuchien (Fujian) Province of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Lin took on a new first name in China and studied at Peking University, the University of Chicago and Yale and later became a prominent economist in China in the late 1980s and 1990s.

In 2008, he was appointed as World Bank's chief economist and senior vice president, a post he held until 2012.

(By Elaine Hou)

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list