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Former presidential aide gets 18-month in prison for illegal surveillance

Politics 15:34 December 07, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 7 (Yonhap) -- Woo Byung-woo, former senior presidential secretary for civil affairs to ousted President Park Geun-hye, was sentenced to 18 months in jail on Friday for illegally surveilling public officials and private citizens through the state spy agency.

The verdict by the Seoul Central District Court puts his imprisonment at four years in total, as he is already serving two and a half years on abuse of power and other charges in connection with a massive influence-peddling case that led to Park's ousting in March last year.

An appeal is currently under way over the corruption trial.

As for Friday's case, Woo was additionally indicted for instructing a National Intelligence Service official to closely observe activities of a diverse number of public officials and citizens.

Woo, a former senior prosecutor, held the post as a Park's aide from 2015-16.

Woo managed to avoid detention over the charges when the court turned down arrest warrants for him twice early last year. But he was finally arrested on Dec. 15 over charges that also included illegal surveillance of civilians and government officials.

Woo Byung-woo, former presidential secretary for civil affairs under the Park Geun-hye government, arrives at the Seoul Central District Court to attend his sentencing trial on illegal surveillance of various individuals on Dec. 7, 2018. (Yonhap)

elly@yna.co.kr
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