Saturday 16 December 2017

US Navy officer held on spying charges

Lt Commander Edward Lin, from Taiwan, later became a naturalised US citizen
Lt Commander Edward Lin, from Taiwan, later became a naturalised US citizen

Phil Stewart in Washington

A US NAVY officer with access to sensitive US intelligence faces espionage charges over accusations he passed state secrets, possibly to China and Taiwan, according to a US official.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, identified the suspect as Lieutenant Commander Edward Lin, who was born in Taiwan and later became a naturalised US citizen, according a Navy profile article written about him in 2008.

A redacted Navy charge sheet said the suspect was assigned to the headquarters of the Navy's Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, which oversees intelligence collection activities.

The charge sheet redacted the name of the suspect and the Navy declined to provide details on his identity. It accused him twice of communicating secret information and three times of attempting to do so to a representative of a foreign government "with intent or reason to believe it would be used to the advantage of a foreign nation." The document did not identify what country or countries were involved.

The suspect was also accused of engaging in prostitution and adultery. He has been held in pre-trial confinement for the past eight months or so.

'USNI News', which first reported Lin's identity, said he spoke Mandarin and managed the collection of electronic signals from the EP3-E Aries II signals intelligence aircraft.

The US Navy profiled Lin in a 2008 article, saying his family left Taiwan when he was 14 and stayed in different countries before coming to America.

"I always dreamt about coming to America, the 'promised land'," he said. "I grew up believing that all the roads in America lead to Disneyland."

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said he was not aware of the details of the case, while Taiwan's Defence Ministry said it had no information on the case.

Irish Independent

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