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Retired Air Force Lt. Col. indicted for espionage

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. indicted for espionage

Taipei, June 22 (CNA) Taipei prosecutors on Monday indicted Liu Chi-ju, a retired Air Force officer who is suspected of serving as a collaborator in a major military espionage network on behalf of China.
Prosecutors said they had earlier indicted a Chinese national named Zhen Xiaojiang, a retired People's Liberation Army captain who is suspected of having recruited several Air Force officers into his spy ring.
The investigation into Zhen revealed that Liu played an instrumental role in the recruiting of active and retired Air Force officers for the Chinese spy ring.
Liu, who retired from the ROC Air Force with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2005, is facing charges of violating the National Security Act. However, Liu's exact whereabouts remains unknown, as he has been residing in China running businesses since his retirement.
Prosecutors said he is believed to have facilitated the recruitment of a retired officer of the ROC Air Force Academy Flight Training Command surnamed Ke, along with another active officer surnamed Lou, from the same unit.
The two officers have also been indicted, with investigators currently determining whether the information they leaked was classified.
Meanwhile, prosecutors said that since Zhen successfully enticed a number of Air Force officers to join his spy ring by offering money and all-expenses-paid vacations, including Air Force Lt. Col. Chou Tzu-li and Maj.-Gen. Hsu Nai-chuan, who later referred several colleagues and academy-mates to spy for China.
A number of pieces of classified information have since been leaked to Chinese intelligence agents, the prosecutors said.
Given their propensity for collusion and flight, Zhen, Chou and Hsu have been detained incommunicado without bail since their arrest.
Prosecutors said that Ke in 1990 piloted one of four jet fighters assigned to escort a reconnaissance sortie over the Taizhou Luqiao Airport in Zhejiang, during which the aircraft came close to the threat of being fired upon with missiles after being interdicted by Chinese J-8 fighters. In 1996, he survived a mechanical malfunction that caused his F-104G Starfighter to crash into the sea.
Asked why he betrayed his country after such a distinguished career, Ke remained silent, said prosecutors. (By Liu Hsih-yi and Ted Chen)


Updated : 2021-09-20 07:41 GMT+08:00