The Public Security Department 2 of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office sent investigators to the National Police Agency headquarters in Seoul to search three intelligence departments and seize electronic data related to their suspected political interference.
Following a raid on the NPA’s intelligence division last week, prosecutors decided they needed more data.
Police conducted their own investigation after papers suggesting the intelligence units’ involvement in political meddling and illegal spying between 2011 and 2012 were found in a secret storage place during a probe into allegations that Lee embezzled from his brother’s auto parts maker named DAS.
As the statute of limitations is seven years for abuse of authority, police referred two of the former intelligence officers to the prosecution with a recommendation to indict them.
In addition to papers found in the stash, prosecutors obtained from the National Archives more related police reports written during the Lee administration to zero in on the alleged maneuvers and illegal spying.
In reports to Lee’s presidential office, the NPA’s intelligence division called for a need to reshuffle the nation’s human rights watchdog after it recommended a warning against the NPA chief in a probe into alleged rights violation by police as they cracked down on the monthslong candlelight demonstrations in 2008 against the resumption of beef imports from the US. The reports also called for denying government subsidies to left-leaning groups and detailed plans to incapacitate leftists online ahead of local elections.
By Kim So-hyun (email@example.com)