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Court commutes sentences for 3 ex-spy chiefs in illegal NIS funds case

All Headlines 11:21 December 11, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 11 (Yonhap) -- An appellate court on Tuesday reduced prison terms for three former National Intelligence Service (NIS) chiefs convicted of providing illegal funds to the office of then President Park Geun-hye.

The Seoul High Court sentenced Nam Jae-joon to two years in prison, and Lee Byung-kee and Lee Byong-ho to 2 1/2 years each, acquitting them of part of the charges in relation to bribery and loss of state funds.

Nam was given three years and the other two were each sentenced to 3 1/2 years by the lower court in June.

The three former NIS directors were indicted on charges of sending 3.5 billion won (US$3.1 million) from the agency's special activities funds to Park's presidential office on a monthly basis between May 2013 and April 2014.

The lower court found them guilty of unlawfully providing the Special Activities Funds to Park's Cheong Wa Dae against their designated purposes. But it ruled that the money cannot completely be seen as bribes as they were not paid for any favor in return.

The composite photo shows (from L to R) former NIS Directors Nam Jae-joon, Lee Byung-kee and Lee Byong-ho on Dec. 11, 2018. (Yonhap)


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