Chinese man continues to be detained on espionage charges

2017/07/06 22:28:48 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Chinese man continues to be detained on espionage charges

Taipei, July 6 (CNA) Taipei's District Court on Thursday granted a prosecution request to keep detaining Zhou Hongxu (周泓旭), a Chinese man who had been under detention since March on charges of violating Taiwan's National Security Act.

The prosecution's Thursday indictment against Zhou, 29, said he had attempted to bribe an official with money in exchange for classified information.

According to the indictment, Zhou tried to entice the official from Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs with US$10,000 to work for China from Aug. 2016 to March 2017, when he was arrested after the official reported him to investigators.

Zhou had confessed his crime during prosecutors' investigation, but denied any wrongdoing when answering judges' questions at a court hearing on whether to continue his detention.

The court decided to continue Zhou's detention because his suspected crime is a grave threat to national security, he has no relatives in Taiwan, his suspected criminal acts are now widely reported and there is a strong likelihood that he would flee to China.

The offense carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, and a fine of NT$1 million (US$32,735), but due to Zhou's confession, prosecutors have asked the court to hand down a more lenient ruling.

The indictment said that Zhou, from Liaoning Province and a graduate of Zhejiang University, was enrolled in an MBA program at National Chengchi University in Taipei from 2012-2016.

He returned to China last August before traveling back to Taiwan in February as a management investor.

(By Wang Yang-yu, Lilian Wu and S.C. Chang)

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