Apache photo in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ues

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY CHI- HAO JAMES LO

The Taoyuan Dis­trict Pros­e­cu­tors Of­fice yes­ter­day con­tin­ued to con­duct in­ves­ti­ga­tions on the on­go­ing Apache photo scan­dal case at the Army Spe­cial Forces 601 Brigade.

The scan­dal was brought to light af­ter lo­cal pre­sen­ter and so­cialite Janet Lee ( ) posted a pic­ture of her­self sit­ting in an AH-64E Apache, an as­sault chop­per that was re­cently ac­quired from the United States and has sen­si­tive equip­ment not meant for the public eye.

The photo was taken dur­ing a trip that was led by Lieu­tenant Colonel Lao Nai-cheng ( ), who is a friend of Lee’s. Re­port­edly, Lao took 20 peo­ple, in­clud­ing the so­cialite and her fam­ily, into the main­te­nance han­gar of the Apaches dur­ing a visi­ta­tion hour for a brief tour.

Lao later pro­ceeded to let Lee en­ter the Apache to take pho­tos, and also let Lee and her hus­band put on one of the hel­mets made for the op­er­a­tion of the he­li­copter.

The var­i­ous ac­tions con­ducted by the lieu­tenant colonel vi­o­lated the in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity pro­to­cols of the mil­i­tary, which re­sulted in Army Com­mand Head­quar­ters ( ACH) an­nounc­ing var­i­ous dis­ci­plinary ac­tions to pe­nal­ize five of­fi­cers for neg­li­gence.

Fol­low­ing the ACH’s an­nounce­ment, the Taoyuan Dis­trict Pros­e­cu­tors Of­fice con­tin­ued to in­ves­ti­gate the case re­gard­ing the de­gree of vi­o­la­tion of the Vi­tal Area Reg­u­la­tions ( ) and the Clas­si­fied Na­tional Se­cu­rity In­for­ma­tion Pro­tec­tion Act ( ), the Cen­tral News Agency re­ported.

Cru­cial ev­i­dence was then re­trieved from the Army Spe­cial Forces Com­mand/Air­borne (

) yes­ter­day, such as the sur­veil­lance footage from around the han­gar in ques­tion.

Dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the pros­e­cu­tion also in­ter­viewed two servicemen who were in charge of the sur­veil­lance equip­ment sur­round­ing the Apache han­gar.

In re­sponse to the pros­e­cu­tors’ in­ves­tiga­tive ac­tions, the mil­i­tary stated that it will do ev­ery­thing in its power to co­op­er­ate, and will en­able the pros­e­cu­tion to con­duct searches to their wish.

Four out of 13 with Im­posed Travel Re­stric­tions have Al­ready De­parted

As part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the pros­e­cu­tion has also or­dered the 13 adult in­di­vid­u­als in­volved in the case — in­clud­ing Lee, her hus­band and other re­lated per­sons who vis­ited the han­gar — to be pro­hib­ited from leav­ing the coun­try, con­sid­er­ing that the cam­eras and smartphones of the adults might con­tain highly clas­si­fied pho­tos of the area and the chop­pers, CNA re­ported.

How­ever, though the pros­e­cu­tion had aimed to is­sue the or­der as soon as pos­si­ble, four of the 13 adults have al­ready re­port­edly left the coun­try.

Ciou Tai-han ( ) and Wang Jyun-yi ( ), a known busi­ness cou­ple, had left for the United States of March 31. A woman with the last name Lai and a man with the last name Ciou had also left the coun­try for Ja­pan and Hong Kong re­spec­tively in April 2, mean­ing that the pros­e­cu­tion was only able to limit the travel rights of nine adults.

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