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Left-wing party members to stand trial for impeding lawmaker’s arrest

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Published : 2014-02-13 22:11
Updated : 2014-02-13 22:11

A total of 23 left-wing political party members have been indicted on charges of impeding the nation’s intelligence agency from detaining a lawmaker accused of plotting to overthrow the government, prosecutors said Thursday.

The suspects allegedly blocked and physically assaulted National Intelligence Service agents who came to arrest Rep. Lee Seok-ki of the Unified Progressive Party at the National Assembly building on Sept. 4, they said.

The Seoul Southern District Prosecutors Office said that it has charged the two, including Rep. Lee’s secretary only identified by his surname Lee, for obstruction of justice.

Twenty-one other UPP members have also been indicted without physical detention for the same charge, prosecutors said.

“(The suspects) impeded (NIS agents) from legally executing an arrest warrant with violence,” said an investigator, adding that some documents were allegedly destroyed during the clash.

Lee is standing trial on charges of leading a clandestine group, Revolutionary Organization, and plotting to overthrow the South Korean government in the event of an inter-Korean war, as well as sympathizing with North Korea, in violation of the South’s anti-communist National Security Law.

A sentencing trial for the 54-year-old lawmaker is scheduled to take place at Suwon District Court in Suwon, just south of Seoul, on Monday, court officials said.

If Lee is convicted, it would be the first time in nearly 30 years for someone to be put behind bars for plotting an insurgency to overthrow the government. (Yonhap)

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