South Korean Court Jails MP For Treason

Left wing politician handed 12-year sentence for plotting conspiracy

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JUNG YEON-JE / AFP/Getty Images

Lee Seok-Ki (C), a leftist lawmaker from South Korea's United Progress Party, leaves the National Assembly building after a parliamentary vote on a government motion for his arrest on sedition charges in Seoul on September 4, 2013.

A South Korean legislator was sentenced to 12 years behind bars on Monday after he was found guilty of planning an armed revolt against the state.

Lee Seok-Ki, along with six other members from his left-wing United Progressive Party, was handed a prison term for reportedly planning to attack communication and transportation installations in the event that war broke out with the North.

“We see sufficient evidence that [the defendant] plotted a revolt and planned collective actions to carry it out,” said the court ruling, according to AFP.

Lee denied the charges and claimed he’s the victim of communist “witch hunt.” However, prosecutors insisted that the lawmaker has more than a soft spot for Kim Jong Un’s communist regime, and accused Lee of singing revolutionary North Korean propaganda tunes during meetings with his fellow conspirators.

The MP is the first legislator to be charged with treason since the country transitioned from military to democratic rule in the late 1980s.