Retired Taiwan Air Force Colonel Loses Appeal Over 20-Year Sentence for Espionage

Taiwan’s Supreme Court on June 13 dismissed an appeal by retired Air Force Col. Liu Shengshu, who was convicted of spying for China and successfully recruiting six military officers, according to a report from Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA). Mr. Liu was sentenced to 20 years in prison in October 2023.After retiring in 2013, Liu engaged in business in China where he was recruited by Chinese intelligence agencies to return to Taiwan and gather military intelligence.Mr. Liu collaborated with a friend, surnamed Lin, to establish a shell company, which he used to channel funds from Beijing for recruiting officers and exchanging sensitive information.Through the shell company, he received commissions ranging from NT$200,000 to NT$700,000 ($6,180 to $21,640), and a bonus of NT$30,000 to NT$100,000 ($930 to $3,000) for sensitive information.Mr. Liu leveraged his military connections to enlist former colleagues.Mr. Liu initially targeted retired officer Sun Wei, who frequented casinos and electronic gaming centers and had racked up substantial debts. Mr. Liu offered him payments in exchange for sensitive information.Related StoriesMr. Sun involved his wife, Lt. Col. Liu Yunya, who ostensibly produced educational materials and presentations. She obtained classified documents from younger military personnel and passed them to Mr. Liu in exchange for financial gain.Prosecutors indicted a total of seven defendants for violating the Classified National Security Information Act.The High Court found six defendants guilty. Mr. Liu was sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined NT$16.79 million ($520,000). Mr. Sun and Ms. Liu, the married couple, received sentences of 19 years and 6 months, and 20 years and 6 months respectively. Three others received prison sentences ranging from six months to three years and six months. Maj. Liu Yongwei was acquitted of all charges.The Supreme Court upheld the verdicts for Liu Shengshu, Maj. Deng, Maj. Gong, and Liu’s friend surnamed Lin, affirming their judgments as free from error. The Supreme Court also dismissed the prosecutor’s appeal against Maj. Liu Yongwei, who was accused of providing intelligence but acquitted due to insufficient evidence.However, the Supreme Court identified deficiencies in the investigation regarding the evidence against the couple, Mr. Sun and Ms. Liu, ordering a re-examination into some of the charges against them. The couple has maintained innocence, claiming the documents were false and had no value.

Retired Taiwan Air Force Colonel Loses Appeal Over 20-Year Sentence for Espionage

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Taiwan’s Supreme Court on June 13 dismissed an appeal by retired Air Force Col. Liu Shengshu, who was convicted of spying for China and successfully recruiting six military officers, according to a report from Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA). Mr. Liu was sentenced to 20 years in prison in October 2023.

After retiring in 2013, Liu engaged in business in China where he was recruited by Chinese intelligence agencies to return to Taiwan and gather military intelligence.

Mr. Liu collaborated with a friend, surnamed Lin, to establish a shell company, which he used to channel funds from Beijing for recruiting officers and exchanging sensitive information.

Through the shell company, he received commissions ranging from NT$200,000 to NT$700,000 ($6,180 to $21,640), and a bonus of NT$30,000 to NT$100,000 ($930 to $3,000) for sensitive information.

Mr. Liu leveraged his military connections to enlist former colleagues.

Mr. Liu initially targeted retired officer Sun Wei, who frequented casinos and electronic gaming centers and had racked up substantial debts. Mr. Liu offered him payments in exchange for sensitive information.

Mr. Sun involved his wife, Lt. Col. Liu Yunya, who ostensibly produced educational materials and presentations. She obtained classified documents from younger military personnel and passed them to Mr. Liu in exchange for financial gain.

Prosecutors indicted a total of seven defendants for violating the Classified National Security Information Act.

The High Court found six defendants guilty. Mr. Liu was sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined NT$16.79 million ($520,000). Mr. Sun and Ms. Liu, the married couple, received sentences of 19 years and 6 months, and 20 years and 6 months respectively. Three others received prison sentences ranging from six months to three years and six months. Maj. Liu Yongwei was acquitted of all charges.

The Supreme Court upheld the verdicts for Liu Shengshu, Maj. Deng, Maj. Gong, and Liu’s friend surnamed Lin, affirming their judgments as free from error. The Supreme Court also dismissed the prosecutor’s appeal against Maj. Liu Yongwei, who was accused of providing intelligence but acquitted due to insufficient evidence.

However, the Supreme Court identified deficiencies in the investigation regarding the evidence against the couple, Mr. Sun and Ms. Liu, ordering a re-examination into some of the charges against them. The couple has maintained innocence, claiming the documents were false and had no value.

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