Ex-defense minister gets 2.5 years for scheme

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Ex-defense minister gets 2.5 years for scheme


Kim Kwan-jin

Former Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin was sentenced to two and a half years in prison on Thursday for his involvement in a massive online campaign by the military designed to sway public opinion.

The Seoul Central District Court handed down the verdict to Kim, who headed the ministry from late 2010 to June 2014. The court did not arrest him and allowed him to appeal without detention.

The court also sentenced Lim Kwan-bin, a former policy planning chief at the ministry who was charged alongside Kim to an 18-month prison term which was suspended for three years.

Kim, who also served as national security adviser to former President Park Geun-hye, was indicted in March last year for instructing the military’s Cyber Command to write some 9,000 Internet comments in support of Park’s conservative government.

Kim was also accused of pressuring ministry officials into scaling down an internal investigation into the covert operations in early 2014.

The court found the defendants guilty of abuse of power in carrying out the illicit operations.

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