SEOUL-- Prosecutors Wednesday indicted a former senior official of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) for being involved in the agency's schemes to interfere in domestic politics in favor of the two past governments.
Choo Myeong-ho, then head of the NIS domestic intelligence unit, will face trial on charges of a violation of NIS law that bans political interference, defamation and abuse of power, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said. He was arrested early this month.
He is accused of playing a key role in a spate of NIS-led political maneuvers aimed at maligning and disadvantaging those deemed critical of the conservative Park Geun-hye and Lee Myung-bak governments, including celebrities considered "left-leaning."
Prosecutors believe he exerted influence at tax authorities to carry out probes into certain entertainment companies to which these celebrities belonged.
He is suspected of inciting negative publicity about Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon and his key policies.
Prosecutors believe that he also surveilled an inspector at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae who was conducting an audit on Woo Byung-woo, then senior presidential secretary for civil affairs, and reported to Woo about it.
The prosecution is said to summon Woo for questioning as a suspect early next week. Woo is one of many key figures at the center of the influence-peddling scandal that led to Park's ouster in March. He is already standing a separate trial for abuse of power.
Source: Yonhap News Agency