US Navy Officer Accused of Spying for China Charged With Espionage

US Navy Officer Accused of Spying for China Charged With Espionage © wochit News (screenshot)

01:34 12.04.2016(updated 01:35 12.04.2016) Get short URL

The man of Taiwanese origin who served on one of the States’ most sensitive intelligence gathering aircraft, has been accused of handing over major military secrets to China.

Lieutenant commander Edward C. Lin is charged on two counts of committing espionage and three counts of attempted espionage, according to a set of papers uncovered by the United States Naval Institute (USNI). The charges include sharing national defense information with foreign state representatives “with intent or reason to believe it would be used to the advantage of a foreign nation,” the Associated Press reported.

Lin, who is fluent in Mandarin, is alleged to have been spying for China or Taiwan, or both, USNI said, citing sources familiar with the case.

According to reports, the crimes were committed when Lin served on a Navy Lockheed Martin EP-3E Aries II aircraft, based in Hawaii.

The specifics of Lin’s job on the spy plane suggest that he was familiar with the American intelligence-gathering apparatus and was in a position to illegally share the information.

The partly declassified documents detail that Lin was allegedly transporting intelligence data to a foreign power while traveling abroad, afterwards lying about his activities.

Lin is also accused of patronizing prostitutes and adultery.

He is being held in pretrial confinement at the Naval Consolidated Brig Chesapeake, Virginia, after his arrest eight months ago.

Lin immigrated to the US from Taiwan with his parents when he was 14. In 1999 he joined the US Navy. According to reports, Lin had long struggled with a language barrier before being granted US citizenship in 2008.

“I always dreamt about coming to America, the ‘promised land,'” Lin said at his naturalization ceremony, as quoted by the Navy’s press release. “I grew up believing that all the roads in America lead to Disneyland.”

Lin’s military legal proceedings have been designated a national security case. The presiding officer in the case is expected to make a recommendation as to whether the case should move to trial.

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