The China Post news staff
The China Post news staff–The Taiwan High Court yesterday sentenced an ex-officer of the Navy to four months of imprisonment for prying into defense secrets. The collegiate bench presiding over the case, however, found Yang Hsin-an (楊新安), a retired Navy commander, not guilty of the much more serious treason charges the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office filed against him, and commuted his prison term to a fine, on the grounds that Yang had not divulged the intelligence gathered to mainland China. Yang, however, may still appeal the sentence.
Prosecutors earlier this year charged Yang with treason, alleging that the former naval officer gathered intelligence from his former colleagues in the Navy in October of 2002 and saved the gathered intelligence in a CD drive. Investigators from the Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau subsequently found more than 70 items of military intelligence, including intelligence about the 2002 “Han Kuang Drill War Game,” which was considered a national defense secret.
In his self-defense, Yang claimed then the intelligence was not a matter of national security and he had not divulged it to anybody.
According to media reports, Yang had worked at the Navy’s Weapons Department, had been a staff officer with the Navy’s Department of Operations and an intelligence analyst, and had participated in the purchase of the “Cheng Kung Class” frigates since 1992. The Navy Headquarters gave him a demerit in October of 1999 for using his own CD drive in his office, which was considered a violation of Navy regulations, and he was discharged from the Navy. After his discharge from the Navy, Yang became a manger with a technology company, where he was involved in the development of a “computerized war game system for theater combined operations” and an “intelligence database system.” Later, he joined a so-called “Asia Pacific Military Security Studies Foundation,” where he was responsible for information consolidation.