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Court metes out prison term to ex-cybercommand official for political postings

All Headlines 17:23 February 07, 2017

SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Yonhap) -- An appeals court on Tuesday sentenced a former senior official of South Korea's cyberwarfare command to 18 months in jail for posting illegal political comments during the 2012 presidential election.

The 63-year-old man, identified only by his surname Lee, was indicted in 2013 on charges of colluding with fellow agents of the defense unit to create more than 12,000 online postings against liberal politicians in breach of their duty to maintain political neutrality.

President Park Geun-hye won the December election against Moon Jae-in, a former leader of the liberal opposition Democratic Party.

The Seoul High Court found 8,626 instances of their writing violated the law. It denounced Lee for warping voters' political decision-making process and disregarding the Constitution that calls for the military's political neutrality.

"It is right (for the court) to give a stern punishment to help shore up public trust with regards to the armed forces' political neutrality," the court said in its ruling.

In May 2015, the lower court sentenced Lee to two years in jail and immediately detained him. Three months later, he was released on bail due to health problems.
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