By Matthew Strong
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The verdicts in the case of a spy ring managed in Taiwan by Chinese intelligence officer Zhen Xiaojiang were expected to be announced on September 1, reports said Saturday.
Zhen mostly recruited serving and retired Air Force officers to provide confidential information in return for free trips to Southeast Asia, prosecutors said.
The Taipei District Court, which is scheduled to announce verdicts next Tuesday, earlier approved prosecutors’ requests for the detention of several defendants, including Zhen.
During their travels to other Asian countries, the Taiwanese officers, believed to number more than ten, met with Chinese intelligence officials and passed on information about the island’s most sophisticated weapons such as newly acquired jet fighters as well as an advanced radar installation in Hsinchu County, reports said.
Zhen did his work during frequent trips to Taiwan posing as a tourist. His list of alleged recruits included Hsu Nai-chuan, a retired Army major general who once ran for Kinmen County magistrate, and Chou Tzu-li, a retired Air Force colonel.
Chou also acted as a substitute for Zhen, helping him recruit present and former colleagues to give him sensitive data which he then passed on to China.
The officers were charged with violations of the National Security Act. In addition to Zhen, five officers and a figure from Kaohsiung’s nightclub world were also indicted.
It is rare for Chinese spies to be caught inside Taiwan, as most spy scandals in recent years featured Taiwanese military officers who moved secrets overseas to China.