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Taiwan court indicts general for China espionage

A military court in Taiwan indicted a one-star general who confessed to spying for China on Friday. General Lo Hsien-che confessed [CNA report] to accepting bribes and divulging state secrets since March 2004. Due to his confession and relinquishment of bribes, the prosecutors plan to seek life in prison [Taipei Times report] rather than the death penaltyTa. Lo was the head of communications and electronic information at Army Command Headquarters, and there are fears that his espionage has compromised the US-Taiwan Po Sheng communications project, as well as Taiwan's weapons trade with the US. China allegedly lured Lo into committing espionage by having a Chinese female agent offer him sex and money.

Taiwan has had increasing difficulties with corruption. In November 2010, the Taiwan Supreme Prosecutors Office indicted 13 people [JURIST report], including three High Court judges, on charges of bribery, corruption and money laundering. The Taipei High Court acquitted former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] on charges of embezzling USD $20 million from banks [JURIST report] that sought to protect themselves during Chen's financial reform program. Chen is also appealing a 20-year sentence for corruption and embezzlement. He was originally sentenced to life imprisonment, but the court reduced his sentence [JURIST reports] after finding that he had not embezzled as much money as previously thought. Chen was originally found guilty on corruption charges and sentenced to life in prison in September.

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