Rival political parties clashed Monday over allegations that the prosecution fabricated evidence to press charges against a former civil servant accused of spying for North Korea.
The Chinese-born suspect, Yoo Woo-seong, was indicted last year on charges of handing over the personal information of more than 200 North Korean defectors to Pyongyang after disguising himself as a defector in order to enter South Korea.
After a local court acquitted Yoo of espionage, prosecutors appealed the verdict and submitted Chinese immigration records showing that the 34-year-old entered North Korea on May 27, 2006 and left through China on June 10, 2006.
Yoo, a former civil servant for the Seoul municipal government, had claimed that he visited North Korea for his mother's funeral but never went back after May 27.
At the request of the Seoul appeals court, the Chinese embassy in Seoul verified the records and confirmed last week that the documents were fake, according to MINBYUN, a society of lawyers defending Yoo in the case.
The main opposition Democratic Party expressed outrage and demanded a special independent probe into the allegations.
"The true nature of the Park Geun-hye administration's morality has been revealed through this incident in which the National Intelligence Service and the Ministry of Justice were involved," DP floor leader Jun Byung-hun said at a Supreme Council meeting.
"President Park should censure the head of the organization that trampled on judicial justice and destroyed the constitutional order, and apologize to the public."
The ruling Saenuri Party criticized the opposition party for what it claimed was another political offensive.
"Unless the party belongs to another country, it should be careful not to distort the essence of an incident that could trigger diplomatic friction," ruling party floor leader Choi Kyoung-hwan said at a meeting of his party's Supreme Council. (Yonhap)