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(LEAD) Moon's confidant to be released on bail after detention over opinion rigging

All Headlines 14:34 April 17, 2019

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES with more info, photo throughout)

SEOUL, April 17 (Yonhap) -- South Gyeongsang Province Gov. Kim Kyoung-soo was set to be released Wednesday after 77 days of detention over his role in a massive rigging of online opinions.

The Seoul High Court approved Kim's request for bail but attached a condition under which he should only stay in his residence in Changwon, some 398 kilometers south of Seoul.

Kim, known as a confidant of President Moon Jae-in, was sentenced to two years in prison in January for colluding with a power blogger to carry out an illicit cyber operation to sway public opinion in favor of Moon ahead of the 2017 presidential election.

Kim, 51, earlier requested the bail on the grounds that the provincial government suffered a setback in doing its work due to his absence.

For the 200 million won (US$176,025) bail, the court ordered him to pay half of the amount in cash.

Kim received the two-year jail term for collusion with the power blogger, better known by his nickname, Druking, to manipulate comments on news articles to benefit the ruling Democratic Party (DP), the then-opposition party, and its presidential candidate Moon ahead of the 2017 elections.

On the charge of violating the political funds law, Kim was sentenced to 10 months, suspended for two years.

This photo, taken on April 11, 2019, shows South Gyeongsang Province Gov. Kim Kyoung-soo heading to a local court to stand trial in an appellate case over his involvement in a massive rigging of online opinions. He was sentenced to two years in prison in January and was set to be released on bail on April 17. (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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