Pres­i­dent Ma de­mands strict re­view of mil­i­tary dis­ci­pline from MND

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Pres­i­dent Ma Ying- jeou on Mon­day de­manded that the Min­istry of Na­tional De­fense strictly re­view dis­ci­pline within the mil­i­tary in the wake of a se­cu­rity lapse on an Army base in Taoyuan where Apache he­li­copters are sta­tioned.

Pres­i­den­tial Of­fice spokesman Charles Chen ( ) said Ma has al­ways em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of main­tain­ing mil­i­tary dis­ci­pline and is “highly con­cerned” about the re­cent in­ci­dent that has dealt a blow to the mil­i­tary’s im­age.

He said Ma has asked the de­fense min­istry to launch an im­me­di­ate re­view of cer­tain pro­ce­dures within the coun­try’s mil­i­tary.

Chief of the Gen­eral Staff Gen. Yen De- fa ( ) has also is­sued a di­rec­tive for a com­pre­hen­sive re­view of dis­ci­pline in the coun­try’s armed forces, which will be held Tues­day.

The na­tion­wide meet­ings have been sched­uled amid an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into al­le­ga­tions that Apache he­li­copter pi­lot Lt. Col. Lao Nai- cheng ( ) took a group of 26 rel­a­tives and friends, in­clud­ing a Ja­panese man and five for­eign do­mes­tic helpers, on a tour of his base in Long­tan Dis­trict in Taoyuan on Sun­day, March 29.

With­out his su­pe­ri­ors’ ap­proval, Lao al­legedly gave his vis­i­tors ac­cess to a han­gar on the base that houses AH- 64E Apaches, the Army’s most ad­vanced attack he­li­copter, and even al­lowed them to board one of the chop­pers and take pho­tos.

The al­le­ga­tions came to light af­ter one of the vis­i­tors, TV host Janet Lee ( ) posted four pho­tos of the Army base tour on her Face­book page, drawing me­dia crit­i­cisms of loose se­cu­rity in Tai­wan’s mil­i­tary.

Af­ter hours of ques­tion­ing by Taoyuan dis­trict pros­e­cu­tors on Sun­day, 11 of the civil­ians in­volved in the case were re­leased with­out bail. Among them were Lee and her hus­band, some of their friends, Lao’s wife Chiu Ya- ching ( ) his sis­ter- in­law Chiu Ya- chi ( ) and her Ja­panese boyfriend.

Lao was re­leased early Mon­day morn­ing on bail of NT$ 500,000 ( US$ 16,150).

On Fri­day, April 3, the mil­i­tary pe­nal­ized him with a ma­jor de­merit and re­moval from his post as a deputy head of a he­li­copter squadron un­der the Army Spe­cial Forces Com­mand.

Ac­cord­ing to a source familiar with the rel­e­vant laws, for­eign na­tion­als are pro­hib­ited from vis­it­ing mil­i­tary bases with­out prior ap­proval from the Min­istry of Na­tional De­fense. Lao could face at least five years in pri­son for vi­o­lat­ing laws such as the Vi­tal Area Reg­u­la­tions, the source said.

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