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MND urges runaway intelligence officer's return

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday urged a runaway military intelligence officer who has been arrested and detained in the United Kingdom to return to Taiwan soon and face legal consequences for her behavior.

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

Yeh was recently arrested in the UK and is being held at a center awaiting deportation. But she has already sought asylum with the British government.

During a phone interview with Taiwan's Central News Agency Thursday, Yeh told reporter that she is willing to be deported back to Taiwan on condition that she will not face a prison term for leaving the MIB.

Asked to comment, military spokesman Luo Shao-ho yesterday said instead of making a deal with the government authorities, Yeh should come home to face trial.

Luo stressed that the MND has no way to influence the decision on Yeh's possible jail sentence for her offense.

Yeh should just apologize for her illicit act and show remorse and maybe the judge will hand down a more lenient sentence, the military spokesman said.

Luo said that Yeh went “absent without official leave” for personal reasons, adding that some local media calling her leaving Taiwan as a “defection” are “incorrect.”

Article 39 of the Criminal Code of the Armed Forces 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.”

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