Japanese national involved in Army tour: Prosecutors

Japanese national involved in Army tour: Prosecutors

TAIPEI, Taiwan - The Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office revealed that a Japanese national was part of the group of people who took a tour led by Lt. Col. Lao Nai-cheng into the Army Special Forces 601 Brigade.

The case which brought to light an abuse of power from within the military continued yesterday, with the prosecution summoning 10 of the 13 adults who took part in visiting the 601 Brigade military base without authorisation, according to media reports.

The summoned individuals included local TV presenter and socialite Janet Lee, who was the catalyst that brought the case to the attention of the public after posting pictures of herself posing in front of and inside two AH-64E Apache military assault helicopters online.

Lao's decision to lead 20 friends and family members into the Apache maintenance base and also allowing the individuals to enter the highly classified chopper for photos caused the prosecution to investigate the case as a violation of the Vital Area Regulations and the Classified National Security Information Protection Act.

Lee, who is also the centre of media attention in the case due to her occupation as a TV presenter, approached the prosecution at around 10 a.m. yesterday. In response to waves of press questions upon her appearance, Lee merely stated that she will explain to the prosecution.

Aside from Lao and Lee, a Japanese national voluntarily contacted the prosecution yesterday to be interviewed in the case.

Though the prosecution did not explain the identity of the Japanese man initially, it was eventually revealed that the man is the boyfriend of Lao's sister-in-law.

Tai Wen-liang, one of the leading prosecutors of the case, said that the name of the Japanese man was not in the list provided by the military, and that the man had approached the prosecution voluntarily. The revelation of a Japanese national in a military base, and the subsequent lack of effort in providing the said information have garnered the military further criticisms as theories of cover ups begin to build.

Other than the Japanese individual, the prosecution said that another person of interest, Lai Pei-chen, had also reported to the prosecution soon after she landed back into the country.

Tai said that to deal with all people of interests who are still outside of the country, the prosecution will seek out the right legal channels to approach the individuals accordingly.

Surveillance Video Reveals 'Negligence and Abuse of Power'

Reportedly, while going through the video evidence retrieved from the security cameras at the 601 Brigade, the prosecution discovered obvious evidence of negligence and abuse of power in the case.

The video camera showed that not only did Lao make two Apache choppers available for adults and children to enter and take photos with, Lao and another officer took it upon themselves to explain the workings of the helicopters and the base to the 20 individuals.

To conduct further investigation on the case, the prosecution searched Lao's residence, the 601 Brigade and thirteen other locations yesterday.

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