Media Exec Says Blue House Dug Up Illegal Spying on Supreme Court Chief Justice

Media Exec Says Blue House Dug Up Illegal Spying on Supreme Court Chief Justice

SEOUL, Dec. 16 (Yonhap) -- A media executive's bombshell allegation about the state surveillance of senior judicial officials was based on documents written by South Korea's top spy agency, government sources said Friday.

Cho Han-gyu, former president of the local daily Segye Ilbo, claimed during a parliamentary panel on Thursday that the Park Geun-hye administration carried out illegal surveillance of senior judicial officials including Supreme Court chief justice Yang Seung-tae.

On Friday, the presidential office denied the allegations as groundless.

The sources, however, said the documents revealed by Cho carried watermarks used at only a limited number of state organizations, including the National Intelligence Service.

The testimony came during the parliamentary hearing on corruption involving President Park Geun-hye and her confidante Choi Soon-sil.

In 2014, the newspaper first reported on the allegations of the president's once-powerful former aide Chung Yun-hoi meddling in state affairs based on a set of presidential documents it had secured during its news coverage. Cho cited some of the unreported documents to back his claim about the illicit surveillance.

Opposition parties and politicians condemned the government for the alleged surveillance.

"The behavior seriously undermines the grounds of democracy," said Moon Jae-in, a former head of the Democratic Party and a key potential contender for next year's presidential election. He called for an investigation into Cheong Wa Dae and the spy agency.

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