Taiwan's National Security Bureau has denied it commissioned the Foundation on International and Cross-Strait Studies (Fics) to gather intelligence on the mainland.
It said it had entrusted the foundation to conduct some academic research, but that had nothing to do with intelligence gathering.
'What the mainland charged - that Fics is a mainland intelligence gathering agency under the bureau - is sheer speculation and entirely far from the fact,' the bureau said.
The statement was its first response to the court ruling in the trial of Ching Cheong, the journalist jailed for five years for spying for Taiwan. The Beijing court named the foundation as his paymaster.
Chao Chien-ming, deputy executive director of the foundation, yesterday also rejected the mainland's charge that it worked for the bureau.
'It is a serious distortion of the facts, and very unfair to us,' Mr Chao said.
He also said the foundation had never asked Ching to contribute or write papers for it.
'We only ask academics and experts for serious research work. We don't need articles from reporters,' he said.