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 interference in the 2012 presidential election.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office said they are seeking to arrest them on charges of violating the election law.

Former NIS chief Won Sei-hoon has recently been convicted for violations of laws regarding both elections and the intelligence agency by hiring civilians to write Internet comments to sway voters in favor of then-conservative candidate Park Geun-hye.

Park won the election against her liberal rival Moon Jae-in. She was ousted as the country’s leader in March this year and now stands trial for corruption and abuse of power.

The prosecution made the request for the warrants after an internal probe of the NIS found last month that the agency ran 30 such “cyber teams” to influence the public.

The prosecution believes many NIS retirees were hired to lead the cyber teams comprised of Internet-savvy civilians from May 2009 till the election in December 2012. Some 48 leaders are suspected of being paid to train their team members to write online comments.

The Seoul prosecutors’ office has questioned over a dozen NIS officials and cyber team heads so far. It has also raided dozens of locations related to the covert operations in order to seize evidence.



Source: Yonhap News Agency