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Navy officer, Taiwan native, accused of spying

April 10, 2016 (Photo Credit: MC1 Sarah Murphy/Navy)

Editor's note: This article was originally published at 5:51 p.m. EDT on April 10 and has been updated.

A Navy officer born in Taiwan is accused of passing secrets to a foreign government, according a charge sheet provided by the Navy and sources familiar with it. 

A lieutenant commander assigned to the Norfolk-based Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Group is in pre-trial confinement facing a litany of charges related to conveying secret information to a foreign government. 

Lt. Cmdr. Edward Lin is being held in the Navy's brig in Chesapeake, Virginia, on multiple counts of espionage, communicating defense information and making false official statements. He also faces charges of adultery and patronizing prostitutes, the charge sheet said.

Investigators suspect Lin of funneling secret information to a country in the Asia-Pacific region, according to three U.S. officials who who asked for anonymity while the case is ongoing. The details of the investigation are being closely held, the officials said. 

The officials said the country could be either his native Taiwan or the People's Republic of China, but said which country isn't clear; the charge sheet released by the Navy does not identify the foreign government Lin allegedly provided secrets to.

Lin faced an Article 32 hearing Friday and the judge has 10 days to submit his recommendation to a court-martial convening authority, according to a Navy official.

Lin's name was first reported Sunday afternoon by USNI News.

Lin moved to the U.S. when he was 14 and became a U.S. citizen in 1998. He spoke at a 2008 naturalization ceremony, according to a Navy release that covered the ceremony, in a speech where he thanked his fellow service members for protecting America.

"You have recognized that not only do citizens have rights, but citizens also have responsibilities. The responsibility you are performing even now as non-U.S. citizen," he said. "Extraordinary events made this nation and our military. People like you, men and women who stepped forward when their nation needed them accomplished these extraordinary events. I thank you for your decision to serve." 

See the charges below:

Correction: A previous version of this article erroneously stated the year Lin became a U.S. citizen. It was 1998.
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