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Yeh's deportation date to decide her fate

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Whether Emily Yeh (葉玫), an ex-R.O.C. military intelligence officer who fled to the UK in desertion, will be court-martialed or tried by a civilian court depends on when she is deported, a military official said yesterday.

Chou Chih-jen (周志仁), director of the Defense Ministry's Department of Legal Affairs, told the Central News Agency yesterday that the military court will be responsible for the Yeh's trial if she is deported back to Taiwan before Jan. 13, 2014.

If she returns to Taipei after the date, the case will be handled by civilian courts, Chou said.

The reason for this is because the Legislative Yuan passed an amendment to the Code of Court Martial Procedure this August, making nonmilitary prosecutors responsible for indicting servicepeople.

The overhaul is being implemented in two phases to allow related government units such as the Ministry of National Defense (MND), the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and the Judicial Yuan time to prepare.

After the amendments were promulgated on Aug. 15, military cases involving the abuse of subordinates, homicide, sexual assault, robbery or narcotics were transferred to civilian prosecutors and courts.

Other cases, including Yeh's, will be handed over to civilian prosecutors and courts after the Jan. 13, 2014, Chou explained.

Regardless of whether Yeh is court-martialed or tried in civilian court, she will be facing the same charge of violating Article 39 of the Criminal Code of the Armed Forces, which stipulates a sentence of “imprisonment for not more than five years” for “a person who tries to get rid of military service over a long period of time.”

Yeh Likely to Be Sent Back after Christmas

A former lieutenant of the MND's Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB), Yeh was put on the government's wanted list after she failed to report for duty following her vacation last July.

She was recently arrested in the UK for visa violations and is currently under detention while awaiting deportation.

Yeh claimed that she had sought political asylum with the British government; however, according to Taiwan's representative office in the UK, the British government said it has not received Yeh's application and that she is likely to be deported for overstaying her visa after the Christmas holiday.

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