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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Senior officer in alleged espionage once headed missile command (update)

ROC Central News Agency

2017/05/09 22:54:51

Taipei, May 9 (CNA) A high-ranking military officer being questioned by prosecutors Tuesday for alleged breach of national security has raised concerns because he once served as head of the nation's missile command.

Maj. Gen. Hsieh Chia-kang (謝嘉康), deputy head of the Matsu Defense Command, was head of the Air Defense Missile Command before his current post.

The command has three missile groups, with several battalions under each group. The command has air defense missiles such as Patriot III, Skybow II, Skybow III and HAWK, as well as strategic counterattack missiles (ground-to-ground missiles) and Hsiung Feng-2E missiles.

Hsieh was promoted to the rank of major general on July 1, 2015 when he served as the head of the Air Defense Missile Command, which was under the General Chief of Staff of the Ministry of National Defense (MND) at that time.

But the command was put under the Air Force on March 1 and Hsieh was transferred to Matsu before that date.

Investigation Bureau agents traveled to Pingtung County in southern Taiwan on Tuesday to search the residence of Hsieh, who was later taken to Kaohsiung for questioning and turned over to the Ciaotou District Prosecutors Office for further investigation.

Late Tuesday evening, the prosecutors, who had already questioned a witness in the case, released Hsieh on a bond of NT$100,000 (US$3,300) and banned him from leaving the country.

The MND said earlier that China's intelligence unit is suspected of using Hsieh to spy on military intelligence and to develop a spy network.

Media reports have said that Hsieh allegedly traveled several times to third countries, where he was in contact with unidentified Chinese people.

(By Lu Hsin-hui, Chen Chi-fon and Lilian Wu)

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