Report issued on evidence forgery

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Report issued on evidence forgery

Wrapping up a months-long investigation into an unprecedented fabrication scandal, the prosecution yesterday indicted two National Intelligence Service officials for their alleged role in forging documents in an espionage case in an attempt to convict the defendant of spying for Pyongyang.

A total of three NIS officials have been indicted on allegations that they fabricated the immigration records and two confirmation letters of defendant Yu Wu-seong in the name of the Chinese immigration office and police, according to the prosecution’s final report released yesterday.

Two of the officials were indicted yesterday. One of them was a high-ranking agent who was the director of the anti-DPRK investigation department in the NIS and the other was a mid-level official who worked as a consultant at the Korean Consulate General in Shenyang, China.

The third NIS official, who was previously indicted, was a so-called black agent who worked undercover in China.

The man, only identified by his alias Boss Kim, allegedly ordered an outsourced broker - a 61-year-old ethnically Korean-Chinese resident - to obtain the official immigration records for Yu to charge him with spying for Pyongyang.

Yu, 34, is suspected of having leaked the personal information of approximately 200 defectors living in the South to the North Korean regime while working in Seoul.

Boss Kim was indicted and is currently in detention.

Prosecutors added that they have postponed the indictment for a fourth NIS official suspected of being involved in the case.

The 51-year-old veteran spy, surnamed Kwon, attempted to take his own life in March following a 30-hour interrogation by prosecutors.

He is currently still hospitalized.

According to the prosecution’s report, the high-ranking NIS official, the director of the anti-DPRK team, was the primary director of the scandal and ordered the three NIS officials, including Kwon, to falsify Yu’s immigration records.

The prosecution said that the 61-year-old Korean-Chinese broker, who also attempted suicide earlier in March, has been indicted and detained over suspicions that he fabricated one of the three documents by himself under the orders of the NIS.

Yu, the suspect in the espionage case, is an ethnically Korean-Chinese national who came to South Korea in 2004 under the guise of being a North Korean defector. He was alleged to have leaked information on hundreds of defectors living in Seoul to the regime, but he was acquitted of those charges in a trial last year after prosecutors failed to submit substantial evidence to prove he visited North Korea for espionage activity.

The prosecution, however, appealed the case, and a second trial separate from the fabrication case is currently ongoing. Yu was alleged to have visited North Korea twice in 2006 via China, between May 23 and May 27, and May 27 and June 10.

The NIS came under fire after the Chinese Embassy in Seoul confirmed that the three documents given to the prosecution in the appeals case by its agents were fabricated: the entry and exit records for Yu’s second trip between China and North Korea, and the two confirmation letters for those records.

The NIS has claimed all of the three documents were handed over by three respective outsourced brokers in China and further argued that the agents were unaware of the fabricated materials when they received them.

BY KIM HEE-JIN [heejin@joongang.co.kr]


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