Posted September. 21, 2005 07:22,
The investigation team of the Seoul Central District Public Prosecutors Office that is currently probing into the wiretapping scandal involving the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and its predecessor, the National Security Planning Agency, announced yesterday that it has confirmed some cases in which the NIS conducted illegal eavesdropping operations under the Kim Dae-jung administration.
The prosecution has reportedly obtained statements from former and incumbent NIS officials who were recently summoned for questioning, revealing that while conducting lawful wiretapping operations, they also carried out some illegal wiretappings.
It was reported that these illegal bugging operations all were conducted using R-2 equipment that allows wiretapping of wired networks, and mobile intercepting devices for cell phones (CAS).
Hwang Gyo-an, the second deputy chief prosecutor of the Seoul Central District Public Prosecutors Office, said, There was no specific evidence or material regarding illegal wiretapping using R-2 before, but we have recently obtained some evidence of it, adding, We have isolated some specific illegal bugging cases.
Earlier, the prosecution confirmed some illegal bugging cases the NIS conducted with CAS by analyzing breakdown of CAS usage obtained through its August 19 raid on NIS headquarters.
With some former and incumbent NIS employees having confessed to involvement in illegal bugging cases, prosecutors are likely to zero in on looking into who instructed them to conduct these illegal operations and who leaked the materials under the Kim Dae-jung administration.
The former and incumbent NIS working-level agents who acknowledged these illegal operations were said to have insisted, We were just following orders.
In response, the prosecution is considering summoning high-ranking NIS officials under the Kim Dae-jung administration at some point, including former NIS second deputy director Kim Eun-sung.