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Opposition protests result of NLL probe

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Published : 2014-06-10 20:59
Updated : 2014-06-10 20:59

Opposition lawmakers on Tuesday slammed prosecutors’ investigation into a Saenuri Party lawmaker’s alleged leaking of classified documents related to an inter-Korean Summit, accusing them of favoring the government by watering down the charges.

Investigators issued a summary indictment and a fine against Rep. Chung Moon-hun on Monday for leaking the so-called northern limit line transcripts to other ruling party lawmakers in October 2012, two months before the presidential election.

Chung could pay 5 million won ($4,900) if found guilty. Nine other lawmakers accused by the opposition of involvement in the case were not indicted.

Opposition lawmakers argue that Chung spread false rumors and attempted to influence the 2012 election, and should face heavier legal punishments.

“The (leaks) were politically motivated ― to win the presidential election. The things (Saenuri lawmakers) said at the time were also false,” Rep. Park Young-sun of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy said on a radio show earlier in the day.

The prosecution is an organization with a strong political bias, the lawmaker claimed.

The NLL documents are from the 2007 summit between President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. Saenuri lawmakers have consistently charged that Roh “gave up” the NLL to North Korea during the talks by denying the inter-Korean border’s validity in the West Sea.

Opposition legislators have rejected Saenuri claims that Roh forfeited the border.

Law enforcement officials said Chung violated the Act on the Management of Public Archives.

As a former presidential secretary in charge of North Korea affairs during the Lee Myung-bak administration, Chung had access to the NLL transcripts. The law forbids current and former officials from divulging confidential information learned in the course of official activities.

Prosecutors however did not indict Saenuri Rep. Kim Moo-sung, one of the recipients of the leak, for talking about the classified transcripts in public during election drives before the 2012 presidential elections.

Kim did not learn about the summit minutes “as an official in charge of the materials,” prosecutors said, further infuriating opposition lawmakers.

“Legal officials should know better,” Rep. Park Beom-kye of the NPAD said. “I see not even the slightest remorse in them.”

Prosecutors also summarily indicted and fined four NPAD lawmakers for detaining a National Intelligence Service agent in her home, in a separate case.

Opposition lawmakers in 2012 had camped in front of a NIS agent’s apartment claiming they were trying to stop her from destroying evidence showing the spy agency’s illegal intervention in the 2012 presidential elections.

The NIS had been accused of directing an online smear campaign against opposition presidential candidates.

Prosecutors said television cameras on the scene showed NPAD Rep. Kang Gi-jung forcibly stopping the female agent from leaving her apartment.

NPAD spokesperson Han Jeong-ae called the prosecution’s decisions “a blunt move to support the ruling party.”

Saenuri Rep. Kim Hyun-sook said the ruling party respected the prosecution’s findings.

By Jeong Hunny (hj257@heraldcorp.com)

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