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Four under probe as 8 others involved in Apache case released

Four under probe as 8 others involved in Apache case released

Taipei, April 5 (CNA) Prosecutors released Sunday eight civilians involved in a military security lapse on an Apache-stationed Army base in Taoyuan after hours of questioning, but continued to keep four others for further investigation, including an Apache attack helicopter pilot. The eight, who were sent home without bail, are friends and relatives of Lt. Col. Lao Nai-cheng (???), the Apache pilot who was exposed to have taken a group of 21 relatives and friends, including TV host Janet Lee (???) and her husband, to his base in Longtan District of Taoyuan for a tour on March 29. Without approval from his superiors, Lao gave his visitors access to a hangar on the base that houses AH-64E Apaches, the Army's most advanced chopper, even allowing them to board one of the helicopters and take photos. The incident came to light after Lee posted four photos from her visit on her Facebook page, drawing media criticisms over the military's loose security control. In its immediate response, the military punished Lao on Friday by giving him a major demerit and removing him from his post as a deputy head of a helicopter squadron under the Army Special Forces Command. Ass the media continued to dig into the case, Apple Daily ran a front-page story Saturday with a photo showing Lao in a military flight suit, wearing a helmet for flying Apache helicopters at a Hallowen party held Oct. 31 last year at his home. The Army Command Headquarters confirmed the reports in a statement Saturday and said it has taken the case to the Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office for an investigation into whether Lao's conducts have violated the military's information security rules. Lao is also suspected of taking an Apache helmet, which is listed as a military secret, out without permission. On Sunday, the prosecutors summoned 12 people, including Lao, his wife Chiu Ya-ching (???), the Lee couple, Chiu's brothers and sister, and the Lao couple's friends who made the March 29 visit, for questioning. As of filing time, the Laos and the Lees remained at the district prosecutors office. (By Bien Ching-feng, Chiu Chun-chin and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-09-20 17:29 GMT+08:00