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South Korea Imprisons Ex-Intelligence Head for Presidential Election Meddling

© REUTERS / Ahn Young-Joon/PoolOusted South Korean President Park Geun-hye arrives for questioning on her arrest warrant at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, March 30, 2017
Ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye arrives for questioning on her arrest warrant at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, March 30, 2017 - Sputnik International
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A South Korean court imprisoned former head of the national intelligence for helping the impeached president Park Geun-hye win the election, including secret surveillance.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A South Korean court sentenced former chief of the country's National Intelligence Service (NIS) to four years in prison over activities which influenced the 2012 presidential election, local media reported on Wednesday.

The probe was launched in 2013 after an internal investigation at the NIS revealed that the agency hired civilians to conduct election meddling operations. According to the news agency, one such activity involved posting online messages in support of Park.

NIS created up to 30 "extra-departmental teams" for such activities, the probe showed.

The task force also confirmed that the NIS put some major opposition politicians under secret surveillance.

According to the Yonhap broadcaster, the Seoul High Court found Won Sei-hoon guilty of interfering in the vote that led to the victory of then candidate for presidency Park Geun-hye, as well as violations of NIS regulation.

Park won the 2012 election by a close margin. In October 2016, a corruption scandal involving Park and her associate Choi Soon-sil broke out, resulting in the leader's impeachment. The now former president is suspected of being involved in bribery schemes, coercion and abuse of power.

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