Ex-reporter at CNA allegedly spied for China

TAIPEI, Taiwan - A retired journalist for Taiwan's semi-official news agency was questioned in Taipei yesterday under suspicion of spying for China, prosecutors said.

The Taipei District Prosecutors Office said yesterday that the ex-reporter from the Central News Agency (CNA), surnamed Kuo (郭), was questioned under suspicion of collecting confidential intelligence from an Investigation Bureau section chief in an attempt to pass the information to Chinese authorities.

Police raided the residences of Kuo and a Taiwanese businessman allegedly involved in the case yesterday. Both were summoned for questioning, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Kuo promised to pay the Investigation Bureau section chief in exchange for his service in passing confidential intelligence to Beijing. The section chief later reported the case to the police.

According to local media reports, Kuo was responsible for covering cross-strait issues before she retired from the Central News Agency eight years ago. Because of her job, she frequently travelled between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

If convicted, Kuo will face a maximum five-year prison term plus an NT$1 million (S$41,910) fine for violating the National Security Act.