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Seoul mayor seeks probe into ex-President Lee Myung-bak over smear campaign

기사승인 2017.09.19  14:27:07

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Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said Tuesday he will file a complaint with the prosecution seeking an inquiry into former President Lee Myung-bak for his role in an alleged smear campaign against him led by the state spy agency.

His remark comes as an internal task force of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) has revealed NIS documents compiled during Lee's presidency from 2009-2013, which allegedly contain action plans to suppress Park and his key initiatives.

"The documents and the execution of (plans from the documents) were aimed at suppressing not only me and my family but also the youth, nonregular workers, every staff of the Seoul city government and every Seoul citizen," he said at a press briefing at the Seoul City Hall.

According to documents, presumably written under ex-NIS Chief Won Sei-hoon's direction, the Lee government labeled Park pro-North Korea and left-leaning, and mapped out plans to hamper some of his major policies such as a 50-percent cut in college fees.

The documents reportedly also contained ways to malign Park by bringing up personal scandals involving his family.

The two-term Seoul mayor lambasted the former president from the conservative bloc and the NIS for carrying out the scheme to suppress him and his work, vowing to ask the prosecution to investigate Lee.

"Ex-president Lee abused his authority and power to spoil the national foundation and sully the essence of democracy."

He said he will lodge a formal complaint against Lee with the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office in the afternoon, on possible charges of defamation, violation of NIS laws and abuse of power.

The accusation raised by the Seoul mayor is related to a widening investigation into the spy agency's alleged far-reaching political campaign that targeted influential figures and artists critical of the conservative government.

The NIS compiled a so-called blacklist of the people, with the aim of causing them disadvantages, mainly aimed at removing them from the mainstream media.

Since liberal President Moon Jae-in took office in May, an internal NIS probe has been set up to investigate the illicit covert schemes allegedly led by Won, who has been convicted for political interference and awaiting the top court's decision.

The prosecution's probe now draws attention as to whether the investigation will eventually target former President Lee Myung-bak and his top staff.

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon speaks before the press at a briefing held in the Seoul City Hall on Sept. 19, 2017. He announced a decision to request a prosecution probe into former President Lee Myung-bak for his alleged role in a massive smear campaign against him. (Yonhap)

Hwi Won edt@koreapost.com

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