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South Korea jails ex-spy chiefs for bribing former president

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Former South Korean spy chief Lee Byung-kee walks to a prison bus following his verdict at the Seoul Central District Court in Seoul on June 15, 2018. Three former South Korean spy chiefs were sentenced to jail on June 15 for bribing disgraced ex-president Park Geun-hye with 3.5 billon won (3.2 million USD) in total from the country’s intelligence agency. / AFP PHOTO / YONHAP / – / – South Korea OUT / REPUBLIC OF KOREA¬†

Three South Korean former spy chiefs were sentenced to jail Friday for bribing disgraced ex-president Park Geun-hye with millions of dollars from the country’s intelligence agency.

The trio were convicted of funnelling a total of 3.5 billion won ($3.2 million) to Park while they each served as head of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) under the then-president between 2013 and 2016.

“Special activities funds of the NIS should be spent on collecting intelligence”, the Seoul Central District Court said in a statement.

Of the three ex-NIS heads, Lee Byung-kee and Lee Byung-ho were thrown behind bars for three and a half years each.

The third, Nam Jae-Joon, was sentenced to three years in jail. Nam is already in prison after being given 42 months in May for obstructing prosecutors investigating meddling by the NIS into the 2012 presidential election.

Prosecutors on Thursday also demanded 12 more years in prison for Park for accepting the NIS funds as bribes.

She is currently serving 24 years in jail and has been fined millions of dollars for bribery and abuse of power in a massive corruption case which led to her downfall.


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