TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — One out every three spies caught passing on confidential information to China did so while still serving in the military, Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said Tuesday (Sept. 26).
The other two thirds of spy cases in the military involved retired officers, he told lawmakers. The defense chief insisted he would take a tougher approach, Radio Taiwan International (RTI) reported.
Both Chiu and Justice Minister Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) agreed that courts were reaching too lenient verdicts for national security violations. The latter said he believed that in such cases, prosecutors would still file appeals.
Chiu warned that officers who had already retired and left the military should not expect any different treatment. If they were found to have violated the law, they would still have to face the consequence of their actions, the minister replied to questions at the Legislative Yuan.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Liu Shyh-fang (劉世芳) said that in other countries, violators of national security laws would on average have to spend 19 years in prison, but in Taiwan sentences were much shorter. The difference meant that prison terms failed to pose a deterrent and would not put a stop to more spying scandals, she said.
The Ministry of Justice said it would intensify cooperation with the Ministry of National Defense (MND) and improve the training of prosecutors in national security issues.