TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Active military officers who pass on top secret information to foreign governments or individuals could face a maximum of 18 years in prison, according to a measure approved by the Cabinet Thursday (April 29).
The proposal still needs the approval of the Legislative Yuan, but Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) has requested that the Ministry of National Defense consult with lawmakers from all parties as soon as possible.
Under existing legislation, sentences for such treasonous acts range from three to 10 years, while in wartime, Taiwanese offenders could face seven years to life. The new proposal includes capital punishment as the maximum sentence for those convicted of betraying secrets to the enemy during a war.
The proposals approved by the Cabinet made a distinction between confidential information and top secret data.
Passing on the former to foreign governments or individuals, including those from China, Hong Kong, and Macau, or their envoys would be punishable with five to 12 years in prison. However, the penalty could be increased by 50 percent if the information is labeled as top secret.
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