US Navy officer to stand trial for spying

2016-05-14 09:39
US Navy. (iStock)

US Navy. (iStock)

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Washington - A US Navy officer will stand trial on espionage charges for allegedly handing military secrets to Taiwan and China, an official said on Friday.

Prosecutors say Lieutenant Commander Edward Lin committed a string of offences including espionage, mishandling classified information and failing to follow lawful orders. He was also accused of adultery and using a prostitute.

Navy spokesperson Lieutenant Commander Tim Hawkins told AFP the commanding admiral in the case, Philip Davidson, this week ordered Lin to stand trial at a court-martial.

Lin must answer to all the original charges - except the adultery and prostitution allegations.

The charges of "prostitution and adultery were dismissed without prejudice, meaning further punitive or administrative action may be taken", Hawkins said.

According to his charge sheets, Lin communicated "secret information relating to the national defence to representatives of a foreign government".

Officials have said he gave secrets to China and Taiwan, and potentially other countries.

Lin's defence lawyer Larry Youngner has said his client was entrapped in a "nefarious scheme" by government officials. Youngner did not immediately return a call on Friday.

Prior to his arrest, Lin, 39, was assigned to a special squadron based out of a Marine Corps air base in Hawaii that flew special intelligence-gathering planes.

Lin will be arraigned on Tuesday at a naval station in Norfolk, Virginia.

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