A Taiwanese military court has sentenced an intelligence officer to life in prison for leaking secrets to rival China, the defense ministry said Wednesday.
"Chuang Po-hsin, a major at the intelligence unit of the electronic information development division in the military, received a life sentence for leaking military information," said defense ministry spokesman Liou Chih-jein.
He was sentenced on Tuesday, Liou said.
Prosecutors immediately appealed the verdict at the military's supreme court, Liou told AFP.
Chuang was arrested by military police in May on suspicion of spying for China, an offence punishable by the death penalty or life in prison.
Chuang's division is in charge of electronic surveillance of China. The major was convicted of stealing information his division had collected about China's military activities and technological research.
Defense officials have denied media reports that Chuang had provided China with data on Taiwan's missile program and said the secrets he leaked were non-essential.
Taiwan's United Daily News reported last April that Chuang sold the missile data to the mainland through a retired military officer surnamed Huang for one million Taiwan dollars (32,250 US dollars.)
The report said Huang, also involved in a credit card crime ring, had introduced Chuang to Chinese intelligence agents.
Prosecutors accidentally discovered Chuang's espionage work during investigation of the credit card crime ring.
Beijing has viewed Taiwan as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary, since the two sides split at the end of a civil war inAll rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.