UPP lawmaker Lee sentenced to 12 years in prisonUpdated: 2014-02-17 16:21:38 (KST)
The verdict is in.
Leftist lawmaker Lee Seok-ki of the Unified Progressive Party has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for plotting to overthrow the South Korean government.
The sentence is eight years less than the 20 years prosecutors requested two weeks ago.
The 52-year-old will also be stripped of his voting rights and he will be banned from holding public office for 10 years after his release from prison.
The ruling handed down by the Suwon District Court said Lee violated the National Security Law and is guilty of leading a clandestine pro-North Korea group called the Revolutionary Organization, or RO, which was plotting a revolt against the South Korean government in the event of an inter-Korean war.
The court said it found Lee had pro-North Korea documents in his possession and had previously sung North Korean military songs, both of which are prohibited under the South's National Security Law.
Other members of the UPP who were also on trial for similar charges were sentenced to four to seven years in jail.
Monday's decision follows an intensive investigation that included statements made by a whistleblower from the Revolutionary Organization.
The court said the RO had been planning the rebellion against the South Korean government since March.
The UPP has criticized the verdict, saying the judiciary has given in to pressure from the government.
Lee is likely to appeal the case.
Speculation is now rising on whether the verdict will affect the question of whether the Unified Progressive Party should be dissolved, currently pending in the Constitutional Court.
Kwon Soa, Arirang News.
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