S.Korean prosecutors to summon ex-spy chief over illegal politicking allegation

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/9/25 14:32:12

South Korean prosecutors planned to summon the former spy agency chief under former President Lee Myung-bak's government over illegal politicking allegations, Yonhap news agency reported Monday citing the prosecution office.

Won Sei-hoon, who led the National Intelligence Service (NIS) from 2009 to 2013 under Lee's presidency, would be summoned Tuesday afternoon by the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office for questioning, according to Yonhap.

Won has been in custody since the Seoul High Court sentenced him to four years in jail in late August for violations of the NIS act and election law, which bans public officials from engaging in election campaigns.

He was convicted of ordering NIS officials to meddle in the 2012 presidential election by posting online comments against then opposition contenders and in favor of then ruling party candidate Park Geun-hye, who narrowly defeated then main opposition candidate Moon Jae-in.

Separately from the case, Won was suspected of leading the illegal NIS funding of extra-departmental private teams for illicit smear campaigns.

According to the internal NIS investigation results submitted to the prosecution office and unveiled by local media reports, the former NIS head was suspected of ordering a wide range of illegal politicking such as the funding of a conservative civic group to mobilize people in pro-government rallies, pressures on then opposition politicians and the blacklisting of anti-government artists.

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon sued former President Lee and the former NIS chief Won last week for the violation of the NIS law, abuse of power, illicit political interference and defamation.

The Seoul mayor's accusation was relevant to the ongoing probe by prosecutors into the so-called blacklisting of anti-government entertainers under Lee's presidency.

The blacklisting was allegedly aimed to remove entertainers and artists criticizing the Lee administration from the mainstream media. The prosecution summoned alleged victims to the blacklisting last week for questioning.


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