Taipei-A former Army colonel who pledged his allegiance to China was indicted on corruption charges on Tuesday by Kaohsiung prosecutors, who are seeking a 12-year prison sentence for him.
According to the indictment, the 49-year-old Hsiang Te-en (向德恩), former head of the Kaohsiung-based Army Infantry Training Command’s Operations Research and Development Division, was accused of receiving a monthly payment of NT$40,000 (US$1,280) since late 2019 from a former reporter Shao Wei-chiang (邵維強) who recruited him to serve as a Chinese spy.
The indictment stated that the two men first met at Hsiang’s wedding in 2011. Hsiang originally wanted to file for retirement from the military in 2018, but Shao persuaded Hsiang to stay and provide him with sensitive information for a fixed monthly payment.
Between Oct. 31, 2019 and January this year, Hsiang accepted a total of NT$560,000 from Shao in exchange for information which he had obtained from the military, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors are still investigating what information Hsiang passed on and whether any of it was confidential. If he is found to have done so, he might face additional espionage charges under the National Security Act.
To prove his loyalty to China, Shao asked Hsiang to wear his military uniform for a photograph in January 2020 while holding a handwritten note pledging his allegiance to China, prosecutors said in the indictment.
The note stated: “I, Hsiang Te-en, hereby pledge to support cross-strait peaceful unification. I will do my best at my current post to fulfill the glorious task of pushing for peaceful unification for the motherland.”
During his 35-year service, Hsiang served as head of the Kinmen Garrison Battalion at the offshore frontline Kinmen Defense Command, deputy brigade commander of the Army 564th Armored Brigade, and deputy head of the Eighth Army Corps, before he was promoted to the Army Infantry Training Command Operations Research and Development Division this May.
He was arrested on Sept. 26 and has been held in custody since then after a court order. The military immediately discharged Hsiang after his arrest.
Meanwhile, Shao, who is also a retired Army lieutenant, had served as Taipei-based China Television Company’s Kinmen correspondent from 1993 before retiring in July 2019.
He is also under custody in Kinmen where prospectors are still investigating his involvement in Hsiang’s case on potential charges of bribery and violating the National Security Act.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel