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S Korea prosecutors charge ex-spy chief

14 June 2013, 14:12

Seoul - South Korean prosecutors on Friday charged the former head of the country's spy agency with trying to influence last year's presidential election.

Ex-director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) Won Sei-Hoon is accused of ordering agents to post stories and comments under aliases attacking opposition candidate Moon Jae-In on popular websites.

Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said Won broke a law that bans NIS staff from intervening in politics and breached another which prohibits government employees from taking advantage of their position to electioneer.

The prosecutor's office added that it would not seek to have Won, who denies the charges, placed in custody pending trial.

Several days before the election on 19 December the allegations that NIS agents were trying to manipulate voters online emerged, sparking a police probe.

Prosecutors have also brought charges against Kim Yong-Pan, the former head of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, for obstructing that investigation.

Kim allegedly told subordinates to issue a press release that falsely cleared the spy agency of the allegations before the probe was completed.

Liberal opposition candidate Moon was defeated in the election by conservative Park Geun-Hye.

Won stepped down as head of the NIS earlier this year after four years in charge.



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