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Home The News News Retired air force officers in spy case freed on bail

Retired air force officers in spy case freed on bail

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Retired air force major general Chien Yao-tung, center, arrives at the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday for questioning over alleged involvement in a Chinese espionage ring.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

Two retired air force officers, including a former major general, were yesterday morning released on bail after overnight questioning by prosecutors about their alleged involvement in a Chinese espionage ring.

Retired air force major general Chien Yao-tung (錢耀棟) and retired lieutenant colonel Wei Hsien-yi (魏先儀) were released on bail of NT$200,000 and NT$300,000 respectively after being formally named as suspects in the investigation.

The Chinese-language Mirror Media last month reported that prosecutors were investigating allegations that a Hong Kong businessman, surnamed Tse (謝), had tried to organize a spy ring in Taiwan under instructions from the Chinese Ministry of State Security.

Tse is suspected to have cultivated relationships with multiple retired military officers, including Chien and Wei, and arranged dinners and banquets at which they were encouraged to invite other active duty service members, the report said.

The report added that former deputy minister of national defense Chang Che-ping (張哲平) was being investigated for attending several dinners with members of the ring, as well as for allegations that his wife had traveled to Hong Kong at their expense.

Chang, the head of National Defense University, said his wife had paid for the trip herself.

He had followed military ethics guidelines at all social events and in interactions with classmates, retired colleagues and friends, he said, adding that he “absolutely committed no illegalities in speech or action.”

Chang has not been publicly named as a suspect in the case. He served as deputy minister of national defense from 2019 until the end of June, when he was transferred to his current post at the university.

The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office on Wednesday ordered a national security team at the Investigation Bureau to search the homes of Chien and Wei, and to summon the pair for questioning as defendants in the case.

Following overnight interrogations, the prosecutors’ office issued bail terms for the two men based on their suspected contraventions of the National Security Act (國家安全法).

Source: Taipei Times - 2021/08/20

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