South Korean ex-spy chief released on bail

Seoul, Oct 6 (IANS) A former South Korean intelligence chief who had been serving a jail term over alleged election meddling was released on bail on Tuesday.

Won Sei-hoon, who headed the National Intelligence Service (NIS) from 2009 to 2013, was released by the Seoul High Court after 240 days in prison as the court cited his right to prepare for his defence in trial, Yonhap News Agency reported.

In July, the Supreme Court returned to a lower court ruling that convicted the former spy chief of wilfully neglecting online posts made by his subordinates that slandered opponents of President Park Geun-hye, then the ruling Saenuri Party presidential candidate, in the run-up to the presidential election in 2012.

The Seoul High Court had sentenced Won to three years in jail in February.

Prosecutors said the comments were posted to sway public opinion in favour of Park in violation of the law that bans public officials from engaging in election campaign activities.

However, Park won the election, edging out her rival from the main opposition party, Moon Jae-in, by a margin of 3.5 percentage points.

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