Monday, May 23, 2016

High court rules in favor of Chen Chu-fan in spy case

High court rules

in favor of Chen Chu-fan 

in spy case

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter
Thu, May 19, 2016

Retired lieutenant general Chen Chu-fan yesterday leaves the High Court in Taipei after the court overturned a previous ruling and found him not guilty of spying for China.

Photo: Yang Kuo-wen, Taipei Times

The Taiwan High Court yesterday overturned the conviction of retired army lieutenant-general and deputy commander of the Military Police Command Chen Chu-fan (陳築藩) on charges of conducting espionage, leaking military secrets to China and recruiting subordinate military officers as spies, citing insufficient evidence.
Prosecutors are likely to appeal yesterday’s ruling.
In the first ruling on the case in 2013, Chen, then 67, was found guilty and given a 20-month prison term for contravention of the National Intelligence Services Act (國家情報工作法) and the National Security Act (國家安全法).
Chen, a high-ranking Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member with considerable influence and connections in military and political circles, was a former deputy director of the KMT’s Taipei City chapter and headed one chapter of the party’s Huang Fu-hsing (黃復興) military veterans’ organization, as well as directing the Ministry of National Defense’s liaison office for the legislature.
When the high court handed down the ruling yesterday morning, Chen rose from his seat to take a bow, and said “Thank you” to the presiding judge.
Chen was charged in 2013, along with retired army major Chen Shu-lung (陳蜀龍), who had long worked for the ministry’s Military Intelligence Bureau and had access to highly sensitive military documents, including the names of Taiwan’s secret service operatives working in foreign countries.
The Supreme Court in 2014 upheld the guilty verdict and five-year prison term for Chen Shu-lung, who was 74 at the time.
According to the 2014 court ruling, Chen Chu-fan began taking frequent trips to China upon his retirement in 2004, then went on to establish links with the Shanghai City State Security Bureau, its deputy director and other Chinese intelligence officials.
Prosecutors said surveillance and telephone wiretaps indicated Chen Chu-fan agreed to recruit Taiwanese military officers for a spy network and later introduced Chen Shu-lung to Chinese intelligence officials.
The two men were accused of selling documents pertaining to the defense ministry’s troop deployment and readjustment planning, the government’s election analysis reports, the KMT’s internal report on Taipei election campaigning by the Huang Fu-hsing branch, information on the ministry’s military exercise program and information on Falun Gong members and their activities in Taiwan.
Chen Shu-lung was suspected of leaking names of Taiwanese intelligence operatives working abroad, which led to one National Security Bureau officer serving as a diplomat in Japan having his cover blown and being interrogated by Chinese authorities for three days during a visit to Shanghai.