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AWOL officer to be deported from U.K. after Christmas holiday
Central News Agency
2013-12-24 10:38 PM
London, Dec. 24 (CNA) A Taiwanese military intelligence officer who fled to the United Kingdom to avoid military service and stayed there illegally will be deported after the Christmas holiday. According to an official at Taiwan's representative office in the U.K., she will be brought back to Taiwan to face justice. As the U.K. is currently enjoying the Christmas and New Year holiday, Lt. Emily Yeh of the Military Intelligence Bureau will remain in detention, the official told CNA Tuesday. The U.K. Border Agency will handle the case as soon as it resumes operations after the holiday recess in early January. It will notify the Taipei Representative Office in the U.K. of the exact date of Yeh's deportation at that time, the official noted. To ensure there is no chance for Yeh to escape following her deportation, Taiwanese government personnel will accompany Yeh on her flight home, the official added. The remarks contradicted Taiwanese media reports that said Yeh would be sent back to Taiwan Tuesday. Currently, the 33-year-old is being held at a migrant deportation center in Bedford, east England. As for Yeh's claim that she applied for political asylum in the U.K. last year upon her arrival there, the official said that after checking with the relevant British authorities, they found that the U.K. government had not received any such application from Yeh. Yeh flew to the U.K. from Taiwan via Bangkok June 18, 2012, and since then she had lived in Newport, Wales until her Dec. 10 arrest for overstaying. Her passport had already been invalidated by the Taiwan government once it was discovered that she had gone AWOL. Yeh applied to go abroad on vacation June 17-24, 2012 but failed to return, according to Taiwan's Military Intelligence Bureau. She is believed to have deserted from the military, because in her words, she was "not fit" for military life, the bureau said. On Tuesday, the Taipei Representative Office extended thanks to the relevant British government departments for their assistance in the case, which has drawn public attention in Taiwan. Yeh is believed to have entered the U.K. under that country's visa-exempt program and to have stayed illegally after the six-month period of stay permitted under the program expired. (By Jennifer Huang and Elizabeth Hsu)
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