Sister of Accused Navy Spy Seeks Sen. John McCain's Intervention

Then-Lt. Edward Lin, a native of Taiwan, shares his personal stories about his journey to citizenship to 80 newly nationalized citizens at a ceremony in Honolulu, Dec. 3, 2008. (Photo by Sarah Murphy/U.S. Navy)
Then-Lt. Edward Lin, a native of Taiwan, shares his personal stories about his journey to citizenship to 80 newly nationalized citizens at a ceremony in Honolulu, Dec. 3, 2008. (Photo by Sarah Murphy/U.S. Navy)

The sister of a Navy flight officer accused of passing classified defense information to Taiwan is asking Sen. John McCain to convene a formal inquiry into the government's case against her brother.

In a letter dated Dec. 9, Jenny Lin argued that the government has held Lt. Cmdr. Edward Lin in pretrial confinement for longer than a year even though it lacks evidence that he committed espionage.

The Navy prosecutors further "tainted his good reputation and community standing" by "feeding the media a narrative" that Lin "sold secrets to China and Taiwan for sex," Jenny Lin wrote.

She wrote that the Navy should be asked to account and face sanctions from Congress if its justification for continuing the prosecution "is inadequate."

She copied several House and Senate committees and members on the letter, including the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Armed Services Committee.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, have replied with privacy waivers allowing their offices to look into the matter, but Jenny Lin said she has not received substantive responses.

Lin's court martial is scheduled to begin March 8 and last more than two weeks; a hearing on pretrial motions is planned for next week. He faces two counts of espionage, three counts of attempted espionage and five counts of communicating defense information, among other charges. He has pleaded not guilty and is being held at the brig in Chesapeake.

The government dropped prostitution and adultery charges against Lin last year. A judge also has excluded portions of Lin's September 2015 interrogation as inadmissible, said Lin's attorney, Larry Youngner.

"Bottom line up front, my client has pleaded not guilty for a reason," Youngner said Wednesday.

Lin was assigned to a secretive patrol squadron in Hawaii when arrested, but he also has served on the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and as a staff aide in Washington.

Jenny Lin said her brother continues to remain optimistic.

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Navy Espionage Crime John McCain