A Chinese man was formally detained Saturday pending trial on charges of forging Chinese immigration records to help Seoul's main spy agency frame a North Korean defector for espionage, court officials said.
The 61-year-old ethnic Korean with Chinese nationality, only identified by his surname Kim, is suspected of forging immigration records purporting to be the defector's and handing them over to the National Intelligence Service (NIS) last year.
The Seoul Central District Court on Saturday approved the prosecutors' request for an arrest warrant for the Chinese man after holding a hearing, the officials said.
After putting Kim under arrest from a Seoul hospital where he was recovering from a suicide attempt, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office had earlier asked the court to issue the warrant to further question him.
The case involving Yoo Woo-seong, a 34-year-old defector who worked for the Seoul city government, began when prosecutors charged him with carrying out espionage for Pyongyang's spy agency.
After a local district court acquitted Yoo of espionage charges in August 2013, allegations have risen that the NIS had obtained or produced the fake immigration records and handed them over to the prosecution. (Yonhap)