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Opposition lawmaker acquitted of perjury charges in election meddling case

All Headlines 16:11 August 26, 2016

SEOUL, Aug. 26 (Yonhap) -- A local court on Friday acquitted an opposition lawmaker who was indicted over alleged perjury in a 2012 presidential election meddling case.

The Seoul Central District Court found police officer-turned-politician Rep. Kwon Eun-hee of the minor People's Party not guilty of falsely testifying to harm Kim Yong-pan, the then-chief of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA).

When she was a police officer, Kwon led a team that investigated the National Intelligence Service's online smear campaign to sway public opinion in favor of then ruling party candidate Park Geun-hye in the 2012 presidential election.

In April 2013, Kwon claimed that her superiors, including Kim, stopped her from pursuing the case as far as she believed was appropriate, a comment that sent ripples through political circles and the state intelligence agency.

The Supreme Court acquitted Kim of charges of abusing his authority to influence the police investigation last year, citing a lack of evidence and lack of credibility in Kwon's testimony.

Prosecutors said Kwon made false testimony, different from what she remembered, but the court said just because her testimony was different from objective facts does not mean that she lied.

In July 2015, the nation's top court returned to a lower court a ruling that convicted former spy chief Won Sei-hoon of willfully neglecting to check online posts made by his subordinates that slandered opponents of Park in the runup to the election.

The case is pending at the Seoul High Court.

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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