Asia Pacific

South Korea jails ex-spy chiefs for bribing former President Park Geun-hye


Three South Korean former spy chiefs were sentenced to jail Friday for bribing disgraced ex-President Park Geun-hye with millions of dollars from the intelligence agency.

The trio were convicted of funneling a total of 3.5 billion won ($3.2 million) to Park while they each served as head of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) under the then-president between 2013 and 2016.

“Special activities funds of the NIS should be spent on collecting intelligence,” the Seoul Central District Court said in a statement.

Of the three ex-NIS heads, Lee Byung-kee and Lee Byung-ho were thrown behind bars for 3½ each.

The third, Nam Jae-Joon, was sentenced to three years in jail. Nam is already in prison after being given 42 months in May for obstructing prosecutors investigating meddling by the NIS into the 2012 presidential election.

Prosecutors on Thursday also demanded 12 more years in prison for Park for accepting the NIS funds as bribes.

She is currently serving 24 years in jail and has been fined millions of dollars for bribery and abuse of power in a massive corruption case that led to her downfall.