Iran Releases Korean Sentenced to 7 Years for Espionage

kpopluv, April 14, 2014, 12:41 p.m.

An Iranian Official announced on Sunday that a Korean National convicted and sentenced to 7 years for espionage is being released and will be able to leave the country once legal proceedings are finalized.  The Korean man, aged 42 reside in the United Kingdom was arrested in October 2012 on charges of espionage for taking photos of military buildings and foreign embassies.

At the time of his arrest, Iranian authorities said he had photographed signposts in border areas and the faces of local residents and attempted to hand over the material to a foreign government.  Kim was unable to present his case since he was not given a lawyer until the first trial ended in September 2013. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.

His arrest only became public in a National Assembly audit of the Foreign Ministry in October last year. After the ensuing outcry, the government dispatched a high-ranking envoy to Tehran to negotiate Kim's release.

The Korean Embassy in Iran also requested his release, saying the subjects of his photos were not sensitive enough for him to be accused of espionage. The Iranian government apparently decided to release him to avoid damaging diplomatic relations with Korea.

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