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MOFA mum on report about AWOL officer's repatriation
Central News Agency
2014-01-18 10:14 PM
Taipei, Jan. 18 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) declined to confirm Saturday a report that an AWOL Taiwanese military intelligence officer was being repatriated from the United Kingdom. A friend of Emily Yeh, a Bureau of Military Intelligence lieutenant who had been in the U.K. without official leave since June 2012, said in a Facebook post at 6 p.m. Saturday (Taipei time) that Yeh had been taken to an airport in preparation for repatriation to Taiwan. MOFA spokeswoman Anna Kao would not confirm the report, saying only the relevant government agency would brief the media at an appropriate time. A British newspaper, The Independent, reported last weekend that Yeh would be sent home to Taiwan on Jan. 18 after her 18-month stay in Britain. Yeh, 33, flew to the U.K. in June 2012, where she sought asylum. She took up residency in Newport, Wales until her Dec. 10 arrest for overstaying. If Yeh is indeed sent home, she could be tried for desertion, which under Taiwan's Criminal Code of the Armed Forces carries a maximum sentence of five years, not a possible death sentence as she claimed to British authorities in pushing her asylum case. Yeh was granted overseas vacation time from June 17-24, 2012, but she failed to return, according to the Military Intelligence Bureau. The bureau believes she deserted because in her own words, she was "not suited" to military life. (By Tang Pei-chun and Sofia Wu)
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