SEOUL– Prosecutors on Tuesday requested court warrants to arrest two retired officials of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) as part of a probe into the spy agency’s alleged interference in the 2012 presidential election.
The Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office said one of the two suspects led a team of civilians to write Internet comments to sway voters in favor of then-conservative candidate Park Geun-hye. He faces charges of violating the election law.
The other is an official of the NIS retirees’ association who is suspected of trying to destroy evidence when the prosecution recently reopened the case at the NIS’s request.
After the first round of investigations a few years ago, the prosecution indicted former NIS chief Won Sei-hoon. He was sentenced to four years in prison in a retrial last month.
The NIS’s own probe last month found that the agency ran 30 such “cyberteams” to influence public opinion from 2009-2012 under Won’s direction. It referred 48 team leaders, including NIS retirees, to the prosecution.
The prosecution has questioned more than 10 NIS officials and cyberteam heads and raided dozens of locations related to the covert operations.
Prosecutors said they are looking into other suspects’ involvement to decide whether to seek arrest warrants for them. The team leaders could be charged as Won’s accomplices, according to the prosecution.
Park won the 2012 election but was ousted in March this year and now stands trial for corruption and abuse of power.
Source: Yonhap News Agency