- Posted June 19, 2013 by
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South Korean’s Intelligence Services Accused of Violating Election Law
Last Friday the South Korean prosecution announced the results of their 2-month long investigation into the Korean National Intelligence Service’s (NIS) intervention of last December’s presidential election. They indicted Won Sei-Hoon, the former chief of the NIS, for violating the national election law, which bars government officials from using their influence to affect a vote, and for violating the NIS Act that prohibits intelligence officials from interfering in domestic politics.
According to prosecutors, nine agents from the NIS wrote more than 1,900 postings to attack opposing parties and their candidates prior to South Korea’s presidential election last December. Prosecutors said in their statement that through the NIS’ online comments agents attacked opposing politicians and other critics of the government and tried to brand them as “followers of North Korea”. However, state prosecutors decided not to indict the nine agents on the grounds that they were simply obeying Won Sei-Hoon’s instructions.
Following the prosecutors’ announcement opposing politicians expressed their disapproval of the prosecutors’ investigation for having been too lenient towards the whole matter involving the NIS and especially for their decision not to indict the agents themselves. Opposing parties filed an appeal to the court to reconsider the prosecution’s decision not to indict the agents. They also called for a new parliamentary investigation. In addition, they called on the Minister of Justice and the Chief Secretary of Legal Affairs to step down for having pressured the investigation team in an attempt to whitewash the prosecutors’ investigation.
Many political and social groups of South Koreans have also voiced their discontent. One of them called ‘Citizens Fighting for Social Justice’ published a statement yesterday where they compared the NIS affair to the 70s’ Watergate affair of the States where 5 people from the election campaign team for President Nixon, including one former CIA agent, had wiretapped the conversation among the other party campaigners. They stated that the Watergate affair, even though it led to Nixon’s resignation, was not even comparable to the scale and seriousness of the NIS’ affair. The NIS’ scandal had more than 70 agents systematically violate the election law by performing illegal election campaigning for the ruling party by way of slandering the opposing candidate and his policies leading up to the presidential election.
These groups called for a thorough and timely parliamentary investigation that should include an investigation into Lee Myung-Bak, former President and the immediate superior to Won Sei-Hoon. They also called on the court to order the prosecution to reconsider the indictment of the NIS agents for having committed crimes against South Korean people and the spirit of democracy. In the statement the court was also asked to severely punish Won Sei-Hoon and Kim Yong-Pan, the former chief of the Seoul Metropolitan Police, who was accused of having intervened in the initial police investigation, for their crimes through transparent and thorough trials. Finally, they asked that Presisent Park Geun-Hye and her party take responsibility for this election fraud once the NIS’ intervention of the presidential election is proven to be true through a parliamentary investigation.
For further details visit the link to the New York Times article:
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