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Opposition lawmaker indicted over treason conspiracy

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SUWON, South Korea, Sept. 26 (Yonhap) -- A left-leaning party lawmaker was indicted Thursday for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government, prosecutors said.

Rep. Lee Seok-ki of the Unified Progressive Party (UPP) was specifically charged with conspiracy to stage a rebellion, incitement and sympathizing with North Korea in violation of the South's anti-communist National Security Law, they said.

Lee is suspected of leading a secret organization called the "Revolutionary Organization" with suspected close ties to North Korea, according to prosecutors.

He allegedly talked during a late-night secret meeting in central Seoul in May with about 130 other members of the organization about blowing up key infrastructure in South Korea, including communication lines and railways, and pledged to side with the North in case of a war on the Korean Peninsula.

The lawmaker also made remarks sympathetic of North Korea and sang its military march songs before hundreds of members who attended the organization's meetings held between March and August last year, according to the indictment.

"We will hold an official press briefing at 2 p.m. to announce details of the indictment and an interim result of our probe into the case," Cha Gyeong-hwan, a senior prosecutor at the Suwon District Prosecutors' Office, told reporters.

But Lee was cleared of several other charges, including formation of an anti-state organization, prosecutors said.

Three other key members of the organization were also indicted on Wednesday on similar charges.

The four were arrested after the state-run National Intelligence Service (NIS) and the prosecution raided the homes and offices of a total of 16 people suspected of connection with the clandestine organization, as part of their investigation into the treason case.

More members are expected to be charged as soon as prosecutors finish questioning them.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/yonhap-news-agency/130926/opposition-lawmaker-indicted-over-treason-conspiracy