Go to contents

Inquiry on Alleged Leaker of Wiretapping Information

Posted March. 22, 2003 22:39,   


Accused, on last Friday, of leaking intelligence on the internal investigation into the wiretapping scandal of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), Lee Geon-mo, field officer of Gwangju district of NIS underwent an inquiry to decide whether to issue a warrant for arrest at 10:30 a.m. on March 22, presided by judge, Choi Wan-joo.

Lee denied the accusation in the inquiry, saying, “I did leak information on the investigation to his acquaintance, Park through the Short Message Service for cellular phones but thought it was not classified information anymore because the investigation results had already been made public.”

Park was also arrested on March 18 on charges of leaking information on the investigation in conspiracy with Lee, along with Sim (a third grade official of NIS) and Ji (a citizen). After 48 hours, they were released on March 20 on condition that they would be investigated again, without physical restraint.

Lee reportedly said, “My leakage of information was not politically motivated at all and I was not involved in the document on wiretapping as disclosed by the Grand National Party.”

He admitted the fact he sent Park two messages saying that “director H is now under investigation”, “H did not graduate from Jinju High School but Jeonju High School.”

Director H had been undergoing an internal investigation on suspicion of leaking NIS intelligence. The prosecution said, “We think Lee, H, and Park are all involved in the document on wiretapping, but have no confirmed evidence yet.”

Regarding Lee’s use of two cellular phones (one is his own, the other is provided by NIS), the prosecution grilled him by saying, “Even though you had already had a cellular phone provided by NIS, you personally bought one. You may do this for fear that you would be wiretapped by NIS.” But Lee said “No”.

The Court is expected to decide whether to issue a warrant for the arrest against Lee.

Meanwhile, the Public Security Division 2 of Seoul District Public Prosecutor’s Office (led by Hwang Gyoan, superintendent public prosecutor), focused on finding out the channel of information leakage.

The prosecution is especially putting forth effort to find out who in the GNP were closely related to the field officer, Lee.

Tae-Hoon Lee jefflee@donga.com