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Former spymaster gets 2-year jail term for graft

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Published : 2014-01-22 15:32
Updated : 2014-01-22 15:33

A Seoul court on Wednesday sentenced a former intelligence chief to two years behind bars for accepting kickbacks from a businessman while in office.

Won Sei-hoon, who headed the National Intelligence Service (NIS) under former President Lee Myung-bak, was found guilty of taking some 160 million won (US$150,000) in bribes from the former head of now-bankrupt Hwangbo Construction in exchange for influence peddling between 2009 and 2010.

The Seoul Central District Court also ordered the disgraced former NIS chief to pay a fine of some 160 million won.

The court said that Hwang Bo-yeon, the former Hwangbo chief, allegedly asked Won to help the company clinch major construction deals from public institutions and large corporations.

"Heavy punishment is inevitable because the nature of the crime is severe," judge Lee Bum-kyun said in his ruling, adding that the former NIS chief has not shown sincere remorse for his crime.

In a separate case, the 63-year-old Won is standing trial on charges of meddling in 2012 presidential election.

Won was charged with ordering some of his agents to use the Internet to sway public opinion in favor of President Park Geun-hye, the then ruling party candidate, ahead of the presidential vote in December 2012.

The court is scheduled to deliver a verdict for the second charge in February, court officials said.

Won served as first vice mayor of Seoul when former President Lee was mayor. He was also minister of public administration and security under the Lee administration. (Yonhap News)

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