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Retired naval officer faces espionage probe

TAIPEI--Prosecutors are investigating the possible role of a yet another retired naval officer in a snowballing espionage scandal.

The latest suspect is former Vice Admiral Ko Cheng-sheng, the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office confirmed yesterday.

According to United Daily News, Ko, a cancer patient, was detained in late January but was released on NT$50,000 bail after more than 20 days in detention in light of his health condition.

Ko is suspected of colluding with Taiwanese businessman Shen Ping-kang and Navy Rear Admiral Hsu Chung-hua to spy for China, prosecutors said.

The case came to light during an investigation by prosecutors into espionage allegations involving former Navy Lieutenant Chien Ching-kuo and Chang Chih-hsin, a former chief officer in charge of political warfare at the Naval Meteorology Oceanography Office.

Both Chien and Chang were indicted in January.

In March, Chien was sentenced to three years in prison on conviction of charges related to giving China classified information about Taiwan's plan to send naval fleets to protect Taiwanese deep-sea fishing vessels from attacks by Somali pirates.

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