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September 22, 2017

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Ex-Air Force major given 20 years for info leak

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Former Air Force Major Hau Chih-hsiung was sentenced to 20 years behind bars yesterday after leaking classified information to mainland China.

After being bribed by a man surnamed Wan, Hau disclosed information of the Air Force's E-2K airborne early warning aircraft to authorities in China. The High Court sentenced Hau and Wan to 20 years and 15 years in jail, respectively.

The aircraft were purchased from the U.S. a year ago and were delivered to the Kaohsiung International Airport.

When investigating another espionage case related to mainland China, the Kaohsiung branch of the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office discovered that Hau, an officer at the Pingtung Air Force Base, had contacted Wan, an owner of karaoke bar, passing information on the aircraft. The information was then passed on to Wan's friend in China who then sold the information to Chinese intelligence personnel.

After collaborating with the Air Force, the prosecution examined contact records between Hau, Wan and Chinese authorities last June, and was able to seize the two men's computers and their bank account information, which revealed unidentified sources of money from China.

The prosecution was granted permission to take the two men into custody. Hau and Wan were subsequently indicted in March for leaking classified military information.

Both defendants can file for an appeal.

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