Edward Lin tells court martial he mishandled classified information in an attempt to impress women, but more serious espionage charge is dropped
The US Navy abandoned efforts to convict a Taiwan-born officer of spying for China or Taiwan, striking a plea deal on Thursday on a lesser charge that portrays him as arrogant and willing to reveal military secrets to impress women.
The agreement was a marked retreat from last year’s accusations that Lieutenant Commander Edward Lin gave or attempted to give classified information to representatives of a foreign government.
During the day-long court martial in Norfolk, Virginia, Lin admitted he failed to disclose friendships with people in Taiwan’s military and connected to its government. He also conceded that he shared defence information with women he said he was trying to impress.
One of them was Janice Chen, an American registered in the US as a foreign agent of Taiwan’s government, specifically the country’s governing Democratic Progressive Party.
Lin said he and Chen often discussed news articles she emailed him about military affairs. He admitted he shared classified information about the navy’s Pacific Fleet.
He also divulged secrets to a woman named Katherine Wu, whom he believed worked as a contractor for Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She was actually an undercover FBI agent.
Lin also had friends with other connections, including a woman living in mainland China whom he met online, and a Chinese massage therapist who moved to Hawaii.
Lin said he gave the massage therapist a “large sum of money” at one point, although he did not say why.
Full article: Taiwan-born officer in US Navy admits revealing defence secrets (South China Morning Post)